RIYADH, March 3 (KUNA) -- Bahraini foreign minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa called here Sunday for fostering cooperation and integration among the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries through economic integration, establishing the common market, and creating the monetary and custom unions.
Sheikh Khaled, rotating chairman of the GCC session, said strengthening integration among the GCC countries required a greater private sector role, equality in movement, residency, work, investment, health, education and social services.
He was addressing the ministerial meeting of the GCC foreign ministers. Kuwait is represented by Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Sheikh Khaled said the GCC countries were looking forward for better relations with Iran "but that is blocked by continuous Iranian interference in internal affairs of the GCC countries, its occupation of three UAE islands and refusal to any peaceful resolution for that issue." The GCC countries should be united vis-a-vis these interferences, as well as working on building bridges of confidence based on respect of sovereignty, good neighborliness and non-interference in internal affairs, he added.
Sheikh Khaled, meanwhile, reiterated support for the Palestinian cause and the importance of reaching a just solution that would lead to the two-state solution and the establishment of the independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He noted that the GCC countries were united towards the Syrian conflict, which was worsening due to the international community's failure to act rapidly to address the crisis.
The Arab Gulf countries, added Sheikh Khaled, were satisfied over the success of the GCC initiative in Yemen.
Following Sheikh Khaled's speech, the GCC top diplomats held a closed-door meeting. (end) ay.bs KUNA 032010 Mar 13NNNN