Speaking at a press conference, held jointly with GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa said what has been agreed on by the GCC Joint Defense Council is clear and stipulates the creation of the GCC United Military Command.
He described the GCC United Military Command as an umbrella bringing together “the Peninsula Shield Forces as well as the Air and Naval Forces” of the GCC member states in terms of coordination, planning and command.
“It is an entity that will bring all efforts together under one umbrella,” he explained, pointing out that the Peninsula Shield will always remain there, being a main pillar in joint defense work.
Sheikh Khalid also affirmed efforts to keep communication with Iran had not and will never stop, pointing out that Iran is a neighborly country with which Bahrain has historic relations.
However, he said, those relations always undergo different phases. “Nowadays, there are certain differences which have been revealed in the GCC Summit's concluding communiqué. Yet, “the GCC countries are keen to have sound relations with Iran,” he added.
The Foreign Minister underlined the need to respect countries' sovereignty and renounce any confrontational approach, pointing out that the concluding communiqué underscored Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear power while stressing the need for safe nuclear plants which could pose a danger even in time of peace.
He affirmed that the GCC countries' stance regarding the three islands which are occupied by Iran has always been clear stressing the need to end occupation, be it through direct negotiations or by resorting to the International Court of Justice.
He lauded deep-rooted, historic brotherly relations between the GCC member states and Egypt, reiterating commitment to further enhancing them.
Regarding the Syrian issue, he described the GCC stance as an integral part of the harmonious Arab and international stance in this respect, pointing out a call by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah to hold a high profile meeting by the end of next month in Kuwait to provide humanitarian support to the Syrian people, in line with the directives of UN Chief Ban Ki-moon during his recent visit to Kuwait.
On his part, the GCC Secretary-General commended the constructive, positive and hopeful spirit which characterized the GCC Summit.
Concerning the security agreement and the probability of it being rejected by the GCC legislative councils, he said the agreement was called “the amended security agreement” so that it harmonizes with local and national constitutions and laws.
He added the agreement takes into consideration all constitutions of the GCC countries, stressing its importance in combating crimes and backing economic integration which requires a safe and stable environment.
As for the GCC United Military Command, he explained that mechanisms and methods for its creation will be determined.
He also stressed the GCC leaders' concern for Yemen and support for Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansoor Hadi's decisions, issued within the framework of the GCC Initiative.