| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Gulf States Underline Unified Stance on Russian-Ukrainian Crisis

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that the unity of the stances of the Gulf States towards international issues and crises has consolidated the Cooperation Council as one of the effective and influential international forces.

He pointed to two separate Gulf meetings on Wednesday; the first held in the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and the second with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, via videoconference.

“Through these two meetings, we voiced our unified position towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its negative repercussions, especially with regard to food security in the affected countries and the world,” the Saudi foreign minister said.

Meanwhile, the Russian foreign minister stressed that the Gulf countries would not participate in Western sanctions against Moscow, Russian media reported.

At the conclusion of the joint ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue between Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Lavrov said that Russia did not stand against NATO or the European Union, adding that the international community should support the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions unanimously agreed by its permanent members.

The GCC is facing many challenges, mainly “Iran’s nuclear and missile program, its arming of militias, its support for terrorism, and its destabilizing behavior in the region,” according to the Saudi foreign minister, who added: “Our dialogue and communication with Iran must be based on a unified Gulf position through which we call for calm, cooperation and commitment to the principles of international legitimacy and good neighborliness, so that we can work together to achieve our development plans within a stable regional environment.”

His statements came on the sidelines of the 152nd Gulf Ministerial Meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the GCC Secretariat in Riyadh, in the presence of Lavrov.

The meeting affirmed that the GCC position on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis was based on the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations, and the preservation of the international system based on respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and non-use or threat of force.

In their final statement, the GCC ministers reiterated their support for mediation efforts to resolve the crisis between Russia and Ukraine through dialogue and negotiations.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat