The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
May 23, 2017
Statement of Extraordinary Summit of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the United States of America
- At the invitation of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the leaders of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the United States of America held their meeting in Riyadh on May 21, 2017, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the two sides.
- During the meeting, regional and international issues of common concern were discussed. The parties aligned on the importance of concerted efforts to achieve stability, security and prosperity.
- The leaders reviewed the significant progress achieved since the previous summit in April 2016, including the measures taken to enhance cooperation and deepen the strategic partnership between the two sides.
- The leaders expressed their commitment to tackling the root causes of crises in the Middle East, as well as taking more urgent steps to intensify efforts to defeat Daesh (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS) and al-Qaida, oppose Iran’s malign interference, and ease regional conflicts and find solutions for them.
- The leaders stressed strengthening the ability of GCC countries to address threats wherever they originate, confront Iran’s destabilizing activities, and work together to reduce sectarianism and regional tensions that fuel instability.
- The leaders appreciated the agreement reached to establish a Terrorist Financing Targeting Center in Riyadh, which will open the door for other countries to join in the future.
- The leaders reviewed the achievements of the joint working groups that were formed to implement the outcomes of the first Gulf-American Summit in the fields of defense against ballistic missiles, arms transfers, training, combating terrorism, maritime security, cyber security, and protecting infrastructure, as well as confronting malign Iranian interference in the region.
- The leaders affirmed their commitment to continue close coordination between the GCC and the United States on issues of mutual concern through meetings of foreign and defense ministers from both sides.
- The leaders directed the joint working groups to meet at least twice a year to accelerate the partnership on, inter alia, combating terrorism and facilitating the transfer of sensitive defense capabilities, the defense against ballistic missiles, military preparedness, and cyber security in order to ensure the continuity of these activities and accelerate implementation of the decisions contained in the joint statement of the second Gulf-American Summit on April 21, 2016.
- The leaders instructed their respective administrations to strengthen their partnership frameworks, including the “GCC-US Strategic Cooperation Forum.”
- The leaders stressed their common interest in preserving the security and stability of the region and working together to confront all security threats that face the countries of the region, including the threats posed by terrorist organizations.
- The United States reaffirmed its commitment to the security of the GCC member states against external threats. The leaders pledged deeper security cooperation and shared responsibility to address the threats facing the region. The leaders discussed a common vision for dealing with the most pressing conflicts in the region.
- They affirmed their support for common principles, including that there is no solution to armed civil conflicts in the region but through political means, respect for the sovereignty of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, the need to protect minorities and respect for human rights in conflict-ridden countries.
- The leaders renewed their determination to continue joint efforts to combat terrorism, eliminate its organizations, prosecute its members, and dry up its sources of funding.
- They also stressed the importance of working together to confront terrorist threats and combat terrorism financing, with more measures, including protecting infrastructure facilities and enhancing border and aviation security. The United States welcomed the establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism, founded by Saudi Arabia, as part of the global fight against terrorism.
- The leaders praised the efforts of the United States-led Global Coalition Against ISIS, or Daesh, in Syria and Iraq, and stressed the need for concerted efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to Iraqi and Syrian refugees and displaced persons.
- The leaders expressed their total rejection of Iran’s continued interference in the internal affairs of GCC states and the region, and called for full compliance with the rules of international law and its basic underpinnings, foundations and principles, which are based on good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty of states, and refraining from threating the use of force. They called on Iran to take concrete, practical steps to build trust and resolve its differences with neighbors by peaceful means.
- They expressed their condemnation of Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of the countries of the region, in violation of the sovereignty of the GCC States, and its attempt to spread division and stir sectarian strife among their citizens, including in the Kingdom of Bahrain, by supporting violent extremists, training proxies, smuggling weapons and explosives, inciting sectarian strife, and making statements at various levels to undermine security, order and stability.
- They also stressed the need for Iran to comply with the nuclear agreement, and expressed their deep concern over Iran’s continued firing of ballistic missiles, in clear defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
- The leaders committed to working together to achieve a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The leaders agreed to do everything they can to promote an environment that is conducive to advancing peace.
- The leaders affirmed their firm position to preserve the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Syria and expressed their support for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General’s envoy to find a political solution based on Geneva 1 Communique and United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, and stressed the need to lift the siege on besieged Syrian cities, the delivery of humanitarian aid to affected areas and besieged civilians, the cessation of shelling of civilian areas, and the release of detainees.
- The leaders affirmed their full commitment to the unity of Yemen, respect for its sovereignty and independence, and the rejection of any interference with its internal affairs. They also stressed the importance of a political solution according to the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism, and implementation of United Nations Security Council decisions. They expressed their great appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen to resume consultations between the Yemeni parties with the view toward reaching a political solution.
- The leaders affirmed their commitment to work with the international community to prevent the continued supply of weapons to Houthi militias and their allies. They also stressed the need for collective efforts to confront the affiliates of al-Qaeda and Daesh or ISIS in the Arabian Peninsula.
- The leaders expressed their concern about the continuation of the Houthi militia’s confiscation of humanitarian and relief materials, which contributed to the deterioration of the humanitarian and economic situation in Yemen, and welcomed the results of the donor conference held in Geneva on April 25, 2017, stressing the need for quick fulfillment of the commitments made by donor countries. The leaders look forward to working together to restore security and stability, rehabilitate the Yemeni economy and restore public services after reaching a political solution.
- The leaders expressed their hope that the process of liberating Mosul will lead to the return of displaced persons to their cities and villages, and to finding a comprehensive political reform process that brings together the Iraqi people without exclusion or dispersion to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people.
- The leaders agreed to strengthen and support economic relations in various fields, including trade and investment, energy and alternative energy, industry, technology, agriculture, transportation and infrastructure development, in line with the development visions adopted by GCC countries.
- The leaders agreed to meet annually in this format to review progress made on all the initiatives agreed upon during the Summit and to look for further ways to strengthen GCC-US Strategic Partnership.