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King Salman meets GCC leaders

King Salman meets GCC leaders
6 May

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman warned on Tuesday that a nuclear deal with

Iran that does not have clauses to safeguard other nations would spark a nuclear arms

race in the Middle East.
 “Seeking nuclear weapons represents a very serious threat,” said King Salman during his

address to the consultative summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

here.
 King Salman urged Gulf leaders to stand up to Iran. He appealed to the international

community, especially the 5+1  Group negotiating with Iran, “to set stricter rules that

guarantee the region’s security and eliminate plunging into an arms race.”
 He said that any final agreement with Iran must include unambiguous security

guarantees. King Salman said that the GCC consultative summit comes amid mounting

international concerns over a host of regional conflicts including Iran, Yemen, Syria

and Palestine.
 Those who attended the gathering included French President Francois Hollande, heads of

the Gulf states, several members of the Saudi royal family and high-ranking Saudi

officials. Prominent among them were Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, deputy premier and

minister of interior; Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second deputy premier and

minister of defense; Adel Al-Toraifi, minister of culture and information; and Adel Al-

Jubeir, minister of foreign affairs.
 King Salman also announced the establishment of a major humanitarian center in Riyadh

to coordinate relief operations, and invited the UN to assist. He appealed to all

factions to lay down their arms and start peace talks in the Saudi capital, in line with

UN Security Council Resolution 2216.
 In a clear reference to Iran, King Salman said there was a need to confront an external

threat that “aims to expand control and impose its hegemony,” threatening regional

stability and creating “sectarian sedition.” He said the Saudi-led coalition had

launched its operation after an appeal for help by the legitimate government and the

refusal of the coup leaders to comply with GCC and international peace initiatives.
 He pledged to extend all possible aid to Yemen, and said that he has instructed Saudi

government agencies to legalize residence status of hundreds of thousands of Yemeni

workers who are living and working in the Kingdom, to help them “overcome the current

crisis.”
 On the question of Palestine, King Salman appealed to the international community to

find a solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is the “core

issue” in the Arab and Islamic world. On the Syrian crisis, he lambasted the Syrian

regime and said “the current Assad regime should not have a role in the future of

Syria.”
 A statement released after the summit reiterated that all states have a responsibility

to restore stability in Yemen. It also said that France fully supports the Saudi-led

coalition’s operations. The statement added that normalization of relations between the

GCC and Iran must be based on the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of the

Arab countries and the region.
 Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Hollande, who became the first Western leader

to attend such GCC gathering, said “the security of the Arab world is tantamount to the

world’s security and the dangers of terrorism threaten all countries.” Hollande said his

country was working to boost “strategic ties” with Saudi Arabia.
 Others who attended the summit were Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatar

emir; Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president of the UAE, prime minister

and ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait; and King

Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain.
 The event concluded with a lunch hosted by King Salman in honor of the GCC leaders

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