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Jeddah Summit coincides with accelerated exceptional regional challenges: Crown Prince

JEDDAH: Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Saturday delivered Kuwait’s speech to the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, which gathered the leaders of the GCC states, the United States, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Welcoming the other leaders attending, His Highness the Crown Prince conveyed to them the greetings of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. He thanked Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman for their warm hospitality and “the special preparation” for the summit.

“This is fourth important summit meeting between the GCC member countries and the friendly United States, with which we have deep-rooted historic relationship and strategic interests,” he noted. “The summit gains additional significance as it coincides with accelerated exceptional challenges in the region, including the political, economic and security threats, which require more consultation and coordination. To address such challenges, we need to reach a clear-cut vision for strengthening security and stability in this critical part of the world through cooperation with our strategic partner – the United States and the sisterly Arab countries represented here today – the Kingdom of Jordan, the Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Iraq,” His Highness the Crown Prince said.

“I’d like to welcome President Joe Biden, who is on his first trip to the region to take part in this strategic summit, recalling with pride the level of our relationship with friendly the United States and the outstanding achievements in various fields,” His Highness Sheikh Mishal said. “With gratitude, we, the leadership and people of Kuwait, recall the prominent role of the US and our brothers in the GCC, notably the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and other peace-loving countries, in the Kuwait Liberation Operation against the Iraqi invasion in 1990.

The State of Kuwait takes pride in belonging to this blessed grouping, the GCC, which make outstanding achievements over the past four decades. The GCC pursues confidently commitment to the strategic partnership with the United States based on belief in its inevitability amidst the accelerated developments, which require more cooperation and integration.”

“We in the GCC hope that this summit will be a new starting point for addressing all outstanding issues of the Middle East, on top of which is the Palestine question,” he said. “We call for more action to advance the peace process based on the international legitimacy, the UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative to ensure the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

His Highness the Crown Prince called on Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the GCC states, and the international community to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons. He also urged more action to prevent terrorist attacks on civilian targets and vital utilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and combat the threats to international shipping routes. On the Ukraine crisis, he called for reaching a political solution based on the rules of the international law and the UN Charter that provide for respecting the sovereignty of states and their territorial safety and political independence.

JEDDAH: Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, and the United States, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan attend the Jeddah Security and Development Summit. – Saudi Press Agency photos

Critical challenges

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated earlier the Jeddah Security and Development Summit with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, and the United States, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan attending. In his inaugural speech, the Crown Prince, the Chair of the Summit and the Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, said the region and the world face critical challenges that require intensified cooperation in the framework of the principles of the UN Charter, foremost among which are respect for sovereignty and values of states, non-interference in domestic affairs of others, and respect for the independence and territorial safety of states. Crown Prince Mohammed expressed hope that the current summit would lay the groundwork for a new era of enhanced joint action and strategic partnership. “Profound cooperation between our countries and the United States will serve the common interests, and enhance security and development in this vital region and the entire world,” he stressed.

The big challenges facing the world due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the emerging geopolitical changes require concerted international effort to help the world economy recover, and insure food and health security, he pointed out. “The environmental challenges facing the world, notably the climate change, require strengthened resolve by the international community to keep the temperature of Earth within the limits specified by the Paris Agreement.

These challenges need to be addressed through a practical and responsible approach with a view to ensuring sustainable development based on a balanced and sustainable use of energy resources and taking stock of the priorities and conditions of each state,” Crown Prince Mohammed stressed. “To adopt unpractical policies for reducing harmful emissions, including the execution of main energy resources without giving due consideration to the socioeconomic effects of such policies, could lead to unprecedented inflation rates in the coming years, send the energy prices and unemployment rates to new highs, and exacerbate the social, economic and security problems such as famine, crime, extremism and terrorism,” he warned.

The world economic growth is closely related to making use of the available energy resources, including the hydrocarbons, provided setting controls their emissions through clean energy technologies to reach the target of carbon-neutrality or net-zero by the year 2050, he noted. In its economic development plan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia follows a balanced approach to keeping the energy supplies and realizing the carbon neutrality target based on carbon recycling economy. This plan aims to ensure economic diversification without affecting the economic growth or the supply chains.

It also aims to address the carbon emissions through Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative in collaboration with regional and international actors, Crown Prince Mohammed went on. He stressed the need to continue pumping investment into the fossil energy and clean energy technologies over the coming couple of decades to meet the world demand, allay the concerns of investors regarding the new policies, and guard against any interruptions in energy supplies which could hamper economic growth.

“As part of its role in this regard, the Kingdom increased its oil output capacity to 13 million bpd, but beyond this level it would overstretch its resources,” Crown Prince Mohammed made clear. He highlighted the need of a clear-cut vision for security, stability and prosperity based on mutual respect among the countries of the region, closer cultural and social relations and joint action to address the security, economic and political challenges.

Regarding the relations with neighboring Iran, Crown Prince Mohammed said there are religious and cultural ties between our countries and Iran, calling on the Islamic country to be part of that vision through commitment to international legitimacy and non-interference in the domestic affairs of others. He urged Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and meet its obligations in this regard. On Yemen, he said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia backed all efforts aiming to restore security and stability in the country and reach an intra-Yemeni political solution based on the three points of reference. The Kingdom continues effort to augment the current truce and offer humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, he affirmed.

Regarding Palestine, he said stability and prosperity in the Middle East require speeding up effort to reach a fair and comprehensive solution based on international legitimacy and the Arab initiative for peace. Crown Prince Mohammed hailed the recent improvement of the security situation in Iraq, saying this improvement will impact positively on Iraq’s relations with its Arab neighbors.

He lauded the agreements on power grid hookup between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and among the GCC countries, noting that similar agreements are in the offing between Saudi Arabia, on one hand, and Egypt and Jordan, on the other. Crown Prince Mohammed expressed hope that the current Summit will send an upbeat message of a bright future for the youth of the region, realize their aspirations and shed light on “our noble values.” – KUNA

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