Iran, Iraq will top historic GCC- Russia political talks

April 18, 2010

The effects of Iran’s nuclear controversy and Iraq’s political developments on the stability of the Gulf will top the agenda of the historic Cooperation Council (GCC)-Russia talks in Moscow on Wednesday.

“The discussions will focus on issues related to stability in the Gulf region, particularly with regard to the Iranian nuclear crisis, developments in Iraq following the elections and the situation in Palestine,” Abdul Rahman Al Atiyya, the GCC secretary general, told Qatari daily Al Sharq.

“We will be holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council, Alexander Torshin, President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yevgeny Primakov, and Russia’s Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East, Alexander Saltanov,” Al Atiyya said.

The unprecedented talks between the GCC and Russia are part of a drive by the six-member Gulf alliance to bolster direct relations with countries and political blocs.

Al Atiyya said that the GCC “fully” opposed the military option in the crisis between Iran and the West.

“The GCC countries are fully committed to international legitimacy and solving issue peacefully. We want the Middle East, including the Gulf region, to be free of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons,” Al Atiyya said.

“The GCC welcomes international efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and we call upon all parties, including Iran, to respond positively to these endeavours and achieve a political settlement. The problem in Iran’s nuclear programme is the lack of confidence and trust between Tehran and the international community,” he said.

Al Atiyya said that the GCC rejected using the region as a theatre for operations against Iran.

“We have had enough wars and destruction in the region and we want our people to devote themselves to its stability and development. What happened in Iraq should serve as an eye opener for all,” he said.

According to the GCC secretary general, the agreements between some GCC countries and Iran were of a security nature, and not military. “This means that no party can use the territory of the other party for military purposes,” Al Atiyya said.



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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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