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The 1st Joint Ministerial Meeting on Strategic Dialogue between the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on 8 March 2011. The GCC was represented by His Highness Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the current session of the GCC Ministerial Council; His Excellency Dr. Nizar Madani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, President of the next session of the GCC Ministerial Council; and His Excellency Abdulrahman Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, GCC Secretary General. Pakistan was represented by Her Excellency Mrs. Hina Rabani Khar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

The meeting underscored the historical links, shared faith, geographical proximity, common destiny of the GCC countries and Pakistan, and the establishment of institutional links as a further manifestation of these special links.
The two sides agreed that the GCC-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue constituted a momentous step forward to forge a comprehensive partnership for progress, peace and development and realize the shared aspirations of their peoples. They welcomed the holding of the first GCC-Pakistan Ministerial Meeting for Strategic Dialogue in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in which they signed the Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a mechanism for this dialogue.

Under the terms of the MoU, the two sides agreed to hold annual meetings at Foreign Ministers level to be held on alternating basis between the two sides. The MoU reaffirms the two sides’ desire to enhance and develop existing friendly relations in all fields, hold consultations over regional and international issues of mutual concern, and establish the structural mechanism for mutually beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas including trade and investment, services sector, banking and finance, energy and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, agriculture and food processing, cooperation in mineral development, as well as the environment and climate change within the UN conventions.

They expressed determination to conclude the Free Trade negotiations between Pakistan and the GCC, and hold the third round of negotiations as soon as possible.

They two sides stressed the need for full implementation of the Framework Agreement for Economic Cooperation, the formation of the Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation, and the encouragement and facilitation of cooperation between corporate sectors, as stipulated in that Agreement. Pakistan offered to host the first meeting of this Committee in the near future.

The GCC side reiterated its full support for the security, stability and development of Pakistan, and solidarity with the people of Pakistan.

The two sides reiterated that relations between countries of the region should be based on adherence to the principles of the UN Charter, good neighborliness, and full respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the countries of the region, and the principle of non-interference in their internal affairs.

The two sides reviewed the global and regional situation. In this context, the need for maintenance and promotion of stability and peace were underscored. Both sides agreed to intensify the process of mutual cooperation, coordination and consultation at the regional and global levels to promote peace, security, development and prosperity.

The two sides observed with concern the ongoing events in the Arab and Islamic arenas and expressed their hope for adopting the language of dialogue and wisdom, rejection of all forms of violence in order to ensure national unity and territorial integrity, preservation of the national accord, as well as refraining from division and dispute with a view to support efforts of reforms and development to fulfill the aspirations, and ensure the security and safety of Arab and Islamic peoples.

The two sides valued the reform initiative of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah, King of Bahrain, aimed at reinforcing state institutions, rule of law, and dialogue, led by H.H. the Crown Prince, with all parties without exceptions.

The two sides stressed the importance of preservation of Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They reiterated their full support to the successful conclusion of the political process in this country. In this connection, they expressed their hope that the government-formation process would produce an effective government that is inclusive of all sects, and at peace, and on friendly terms with all regional countries. The two sides underscored the importance of implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions by Iraq relating to the identification of Kuwaiti prisoners and missing Kuwaitis and other nationals, return of Kuwaiti property and national archives to Kuwait, and maintenance of Kuwait-Iraq border signs.

Regarding, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian issue and the peace process in the Middle East, the two sides held the Israeli government responsible for the halt of the direct negotiations due to its continued illegitimate settlement policies and the serious consequences thereof. The two sides further reiterated that just and comprehensive peace with Israel can be achieved only by full withdrawal of Israel from the Arab occupied lands back to the demarcation line of June 1967, including the occupied Syrian Arab Golan and the lands still occupied in south of Lebanon and the establishment of an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and resolving all final status issues in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Road Map, the principle of land-for-peace and the Arab Peace Initiative. The two sides called for an immediate halt of the Israeli policies of home demolitions, building the apartheid wall, forced evictions and land confiscations and condemned all Israeli discriminatory legislative attempts. They called for the prompt and complete implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860 calling for lifting the siege imposed on Gaza.

The GCC side welcomed the resumption of the dialogue between Pakistan and India, including all issues, especially the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and underscored that dialogue was the only way forward.

The Pakistan side conveyed to the UAE leadership that the people of Pakistan remembered with great admiration the role played by His Highness the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan and Shaikh Khalifah bin Zayed Al Nahyan President of the United Arab Emirates, President of the GCC Supreme Council, for their unwavering supporting for Pakistan.

The Pakistan side expressed, on behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, profound gratitude and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and the government and people of Saudi Arabia for their eminent contributions to upholding all Islamic causes and in particular to demonstrate at all times the sentiments of brotherhood and solidarity between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and their generous support to the people of Pakistan.

The Pakistan side conveyed the profound gratitude of the leadership, the government and people of Pakistan for the continued, generous and genuine friendship demonstrated by the leadership, people and governments of all member states of the GCC for Pakistan.

The Pakistan side expressed its appreciation for His Excellency Mr. Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the GCC Secretary General, for his personal interest and support as well as of the GCC Secretariat for the promotion of GCC – Pakistan cooperation which holds great promise for the optimal realization of the immense potential of cooperation between GCC and Pakistan.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the two sides expressed their gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, current President of the GCC Ministerial Council, for hosting the first Ministerial Meeting of the GCC – Pakistan Strategic Dialogue. They agreed to hold the next Joint Ministerial Meeting on Strategic Dialogue between the Cooperation Council and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 2012.

08 March, 2011

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