Gulf Arabs decry Iran "interference" in region

Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:39am EST
 

By Asma Alsharif

MANAMA (Reuters) - Six U.S.-allied Gulf Arab states demanded on Tuesday that Iran end what they called interference in the region, reiterating a long-held mistrust of their main rival.

The Islamic Republic denies trying to subvert Saudi Arabia and its wealthy Gulf neighbors.

A communique issued at the end of a two-day summit of the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also urged action to halt mass killings and violations of international law in Syria.

The oil-producing GCC states wield influence out of proportion to their sparse populations due in part to global energy and investment links, generous international aid and Saudi Arabia's role as home to Islam's two holiest sites.

"The council expressed its rejection and condemnation of the continuing Iranian interference in the affairs of the Gulf Cooperation Council's states and called on Iran to stop these policies," the communique said.

On the conflict in Syria, the statement, read out by GCC Secretary-General Abdulatif al-Zayani, added: "We ask the international community for serious and swift moves to stop these massacres and these severe attacks".

Kuwait said it would host an international humanitarian donor conference for Syria in late January, amid concern for millions of Syrians suffering war, homelessness and winter cold.

"LOTS OF MEDDLING"   Continued...

 
Dignitaries pose for a group photo prior to the start of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit at Sakhir Palace in Sakhir south of Manama, Bahrain, December 24, 2012. (From L-R) Bahrain's Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, Emirates' Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maqtoom, Deputy Premier of Omani Cabinet Affairs Fahd Bin Humoud Al Saieed, Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed, King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa, Saudi Crown Prince Salman al Saud, Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tameem bin Hamad al Thani and Bahrain Crown Prince Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed