In the name of God the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

My Fellow Brothers, Your Majesties and Highnesses,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

May God’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you.

It pleases me, at the outset, to welcome you all among your brothers and kinsfolk in your second country, Qatar.

It gives me pleasure to extend my deep thanks and appreciation to my brother, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait for his sincere and appreciated efforts, which were exerted by the State of Kuwait during its presidency of the previous session, which had a major effect in promoting the joint action and drive among our countries and in strengthening the international and regional status of the council.

It pleases me also to thank His Excellency the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Assistant Secretaries and all the staff of the Secretariat for their sincere efforts in strengthening the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Your Majesties and Highnesses,
Your Excellencies,

We meet against the backdrop of very complicated and delicate international and regional circumstances that impose heavy responsibilities on us, and set us vis-à-vis this challenge to act in a manner commensurate with the extent of these responsibilities.

Our way towards this is unity in terms of rank and target, and to exert further efforts for advancing our joint action and elevating it to the level of ambition that would realise the hopes and aspirations of our peoples for security and prosperity.

While we hope that this summit will set the foundation for a new takeoff in Gulf relations through strengthening the spirit of fraternity and solidarity, the State of Qatar would, as always, be an active contributor to deepening these relations and enhancing cooperation and integration in all domains for the good of our countries and peoples.

The global political and economic context, with deep political and economic transformations characterised by uncertainty and risks, is pushing us towards promoting the mechanisms of our economic and developmental integration, as well as other fields.

There is no doubt that the Gulf Union call included in the initiative of my brother the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, will remain a lofty goal, therefrom to the Arab Union, God willing, but the faith in this goal and the determination to achieve it require us to recognise that the best way to turn it into reality is to move with gradual, yet confident, steps based on the integration of economic interests as well as social and cultural relations among our peoples, that would eventually lead to achieving our common goals and interests. In this respect we are credited with a set of achievements that have gone down in history, despite conditions that were not easy or affordable.

On the other hand, recent experiences have taught us not to rush to convert disagreement in political viewpoints and assessment of a political situation, which may arise even among leaders, into differences that would affect sectors such as the economy, society, media and others.

If the mechanisms and institutions of cooperation and collaboration fail to continue functioning throughout the stages of difference of opinion, then that means we have not succeeded yet in establishing a strong foundation for this organisation.

If the fraternal relations of our peoples haven’t been taken for granted even during the phases of crises, this means that the GCC remains an elitist body. There are things which are to be taken for granted and must not be questionable at any time in terms of the relations among the Gulf Cooperation Council’s States and peoples.

Practice that sets common things above disagreed upon things, and raises cooperation above dispute, could alone turn the Gulf Cooperation Council into a real entity, and give substance to the saying: the Council is the effective Arab organisation in the regional and international arena. Then, we may hope that this will serve as a paradigm for other Arab frameworks.

In the face of challenges and risks surrounding us from all sides we must not get caught up in marginal disputes over details. It is high time that the Cooperation Council defines its role and position on the political map of the region on the basis of the strategic position of its countries as well as their potentials and common interests, because the great powers do neither wait, nor listen to moral appeals. It seems that they only deal in the language of interests, and with the one who proves his strength on the ground in the region.

Your Majesties and Highnesses,

The manifestations of aggression and state terrorism practised by Israel in the Palestinian territories have intensified through settlement activities, attacking the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, introducing measures to change the identity of Jerusalem and desecrating its sanctities, and its hostile practices that contradict international norms in their simplest sense. Thus, the international and the Arab community are charged with a great responsibility.

Aside from continuing violations of human rights, persecuting the country’s indigenous population and practising a policy of apartheid, Israel’s practices and policies will lead to grave consequences for the region, undermining the chances to achieve peace and turning the two-state solution, agreed upon by the international community, into an empty and unviable slogan.

In this regard the Arab and Islamic worlds should take a serious and strong stand to defend the sanctities of the Ummah, especially in Jerusalem, and to protect them and provide the necessary assistance to support the efforts of the Palestinian people in the face of Israeli aggressions.

The continuation of the international community to stand idly by and tightlipped vis-à-vis the Israeli illegal practices is a great crime against humanity. We call on the international community, especially the actors in the peace process, to compel Israel to comply with peace efforts and reach a just and comprehensive settlement based on the international legitimacy resolutions, which would eventually end the suffering of the Palestinian people, prevent Israel from prejudicing the status of East Jerusalem, and protect the sanctuaries.

Your Majesties and Highnesses,
Your Excellencies,

The situation in Syria is getting more tragic for this disaster-stricken people. One of the main reasons for its worsening is the absence of a clear vision on the part of the influential forces in the international community to resolve this crisis, and the malfunctioning of the international order manifested by the double standards of international legitimacy. The Security Council has miserably failed to protect civilians from war crimes and genocide committed by the Syrian regime, which insists on rejecting the political solution and adopting a comprehensive military solution.

We emphasise here that we were and still are supportive of the political solution to stem the Syrian bloodshed, fulfil the demands of the Syrian people for change, security and stability by providing sufficient guarantees that secure the rights of this people and achieve its fair demands, and abide by the integrity of the Syrian land and people. We also confirm that we are backing the Syrian people’s right to defend themselves as long as the political solution is not available and as long as the great powers marginalise the issue of the people in exchange for their other interests.

Hence, we call upon the international community once again for an international and regional concordance, and we insist that the Security Council take the necessary resolution to stop the acts of killing and crimes against humanity committed by the regime, and to achieve a political solution that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people.

Your Majesties and Highnesses,

The current situations in many sisterly Arab countries such as Libya, Yemen and Iraq necessitate the need for combined regional and international efforts to help those countries surpass the current circumstances. We hope that the governments and political forces in those countries will conform to national reconciliations that can put an end to the acts of violence and address the aspirations of the people for security and stability.

This reconciliation requires a realistic and rational approach that puts the national interest above partial interests, without excluding any of the social and political components, yet rejecting all forms of fanaticism that fragment political entities.

Your Majesties and Highnesses,

The phenomenon of terrorism that takes place in our contemporary world, and in our Arab region in particular, and the serious challenge it poses to security, stability and development requires us and the international community, in general, to intensify collective efforts and take all necessary measures to confront and eradicate its roots and address its real political, social, and economic causes.

We have to pay attention to a simple equation that has turned into a quasi-historical axiom that violence, persecution, repression and blocking the prospects of hope breed violence.

There is no choice for us but to confront terrorism. However, efforts must be exerted to spare Arab societies the scourge of extremism and terrorism by means of protection before remedy. Young people who are attracted to it were neither born extremists, nor is terrorism a feature that characterises a particular religion or culture. Prevention lies in addressing the causes of lack of immunity and reducing the possibility of infection spread before the exacerbation of the disease.

As for security in the Gulf region, we indicate here that we welcomed the deal (P5+1) concerning Iran’s nuclear dossier, and we emphasise our firm stance based on the need to reach a solution on differences through peaceful means and to make the Middle East a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone. We also emphasise the need to maintain cooperation and good neighbourly relations with sisterly and friendly countries outside our organisation.

Dear Brothers,

Our pledge is to act as one man in compliance with what Almighty Allah says: “and hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided”, and that we all be like the solid structure – each part of it strengthens the other – pursuant to the saying of our esteemed Prophet, Mohammed (peace be upon him): “the relationship of a believer with another believer is like the bricks of a building, each one strengthens the other”.

In conclusion, I reiterate welcoming you to Doha, wishing for our efforts in this summit to be culminated in success, praying to Almighty God that we achieve our ambitions in cohesion and ability to realise the legitimate hopes and aspirations of our peoples for stability, progress and prosperity.

May God’s Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you.