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Joint Statement Following July 31 Meeting of GCC, Egypt and Jordan

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    Office of the State Department Spokesman Washington, DC July 31, 2007 Joint Statement Following July 31 Meeting www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2007/89855.htm The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2007
      Office of the State Department Spokesman
      Washington, DC
      July 31, 2007

      Joint Statement Following July 31 Meeting
      www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2007/89855.htm

      The following is the text of the joint statement released at the conclusion
      of the July 31, 2007 Foreign Minister's meeting of the Gulf Cooperation
      Council (GCC), Egypt, Jordan, and the United States in Sharm El-Sheikh,
      Egypt:

      BEGIN TEXT:

      The Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Jordan,
      and the United States met today in Sharm El-Sheik to consult as partners and
      friends and to coordinate their efforts to promote regional peace and
      security. The participants reaffirmed their shared vision of a stable,
      peaceful, and prosperous Middle East and their commitment to work together
      to achieve this common goal. This meeting follows the meetings previously
      held in New York, Cairo, at the Dead Sea and in Kuwait city.

      The participants emphasized the importance of dialogue and diplomacy and
      affirmed that disputes among states should be settled peacefully and in a
      manner consistent with international law, including the Charter of the
      United Nations, and that relations among all countries should be based on
      mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states,
      and on the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of other
      nations. The participants expressed their steadfast support to any Gulf
      states in facing external threats to its sovereignty and territorial
      integrity. Agreeing that the peace and security of the Gulf region are
      critical to the health of the global economy and international stability and
      the need to continue the stability of the Gulf as a vital national interest
      for all, the participants resolved to continue their longstanding
      cooperation against such threats.

      Agreeing on the importance of a just, comprehensive peace to the prosperity,
      stability and security of the Middle East, the Foreign Ministers reiterated
      their commitment to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
      conflict and noted that the foundation for such an outcome includes UN
      Security Council resolutions 242, 338, 1397, and 1515, and the Arab Peace
      Initiative, to end the occupation since 1967 and establish a Palestinian
      state that is viable and contiguous and living in peace and security with
      all its neighbors. They also emphasized the work of the International
      Quartet in this context.

      The participants expressed deep concern about the humanitarian conditions of
      the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza, and affirmed the necessity of
      continuing assistance and support to the Palestinian people and the
      Palestinian Authority under the leadership of President Abbas and his
      government. Participants denounced all acts of violence and called for law
      and order under the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.

      The participants urged Israel and the Palestinians to meet all previous
      commitments. They undertook to support efforts to create an environment
      conducive to progress on the bilateral tracks for a just and comprehensive
      settlement and in that context welcomed the joint visit by the Egyptian and
      Jordanian Foreign Ministers to Israel on July 25, 2007, to discuss the Arab
      Peace Initiative as mandated by the Arab League's Arab Peace Initiative
      Follow-up Committee.
      The participants welcomed the commitment expressed by U.S. President George
      W. Bush in his July 16, 2007, speech to strengthen political and diplomatic
      efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the
      establishment of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state, and promised to
      support efforts to this end.

      The participants reaffirmed the sovereignty; territorial integrity,
      political independence, and national unity of Iraq; the inviolability of
      Iraq's internationally recognized borders; and their adherence to the
      principle of noninterference in Iraq's internal affairs. To this end,
      participants confirmed their commitment to full implementation of United
      Nations Security Council resolutions 1511, 1546, 1618, 1637 and 1723, urged
      all of Iraq's neighbors to also fully impellent these resolutions, and
      called for an end to all interference in Iraq, including supply of arms and
      training to the militia and extra-governmental armed groups.
      While calling on the government of Iraq to respect its commitments, the
      participants underlined the urgency and importance of implementing the
      principles agreed upon in Sharm El-Sheikh during the May 2007 Ministerial
      Conference of the Neighbouring Countries of Iraq and Egypt with the
      Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and the G-8, and reiterated
      their commitment to prevent the transit of terrorists to Iraq, arms for
      terrorists and financing that would support terrorists and for strengthening
      cooperation in this regard, and called on all of Iraq's neighbors to take
      all necessary steps to interdict such transit, and call on Iraq and its
      neighbors to exchange information regarding the fight against terrorism.

      Acknowledging that a unified, democratic, and stable Iraq that is at peace
      with its neighbors and itself is a shared, critical objective, the
      participants pledged to continue to support Iraq, and expand their financial
      and political support. The participants agreed that the international
      community also must demonstrate its support for Iraq, including through the
      International Compact with Iraq, and that all of these efforts must
      supplement Iraq's own efforts.

      Underscoring that every political community leader in Iraq has a role to
      play in national reconciliation efforts, the ministers called on all Iraqis
      to work together through the political process to build a brighter common
      future. They reiterated to the Iraqi government the need to undertake
      national reconciliation efforts by ensuring a fair and inclusive political
      process that engages all Iraqis, fosters economic reform, and provides
      security and services to all Iraqis. The participants called for the
      disbanding of all militia immediately in order for Iraqi security forces to
      grow stronger and for an immediate cessation of all acts of terrorism and
      sectarian violence in Iraq that exacerbate the suffering of the Iraqi people
      and undermine regional security and stability. Participants encouraged the
      Arab League and the United Nations to continue their effort to work with the
      Government of Iraq and the Iraqi people to help Iraq's leaders forge a
      common national vision that will advance Iraqi national reconciliation.

      Recognizing the grave threat posted to regional and global security by the
      proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and wishing to avoid a
      destabilizing nuclear arms race in the region, the participants concur that
      it is important to achieve the universality of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
      Treaty, and for all parties to comply with it fully, and with all relevant
      resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, including resolutions
      1737 and 1747. The participants recognize the goal of a zone free of nuclear
      weapons in the Middle East.

      With regard to Iran's nuclear activities, the participants reiterated their
      strong support for international diplomatic efforts and called on Iran to
      comply with international diplomatic efforts and called on Iran to comply
      with all its NPT obligations, including its safeguards obligations. They
      hope that the talks between the IEA and the government of Ira will be
      positively pursued. The participants also reiterated the rights of all the
      parties to the Treaty to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in
      conformity with the nonproliferation obligations in Articles I, II, and III
      of the Treaty.

      The participants reiterated their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms
      and manifestations, resolved to maintain a united front against the
      terrorist elements that have targeted the Middle East and threaten the
      states and peoples of the region, and reaffirmed the United National
      Security Council's declaration on the global effort to combat terrorism,
      adopted by resolution 1377, including its "unequivocal condemnation of all
      acts, methods, and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable,
      regardless of all their motivation, in all their forms and manifestations,
      whenever and by whomever committed." The ministers also endorsed the March
      2007 Riyadh Declaration's call to "promote the culture of moderation,
      tolerance, dialogue, and openness, and reject all forms of terrorism,
      fanaticism, and extremism, as well as all forms of exclusionist racism, the
      campaigns of hatred and distortion, and attempts to cast doubt on our
      humanitarian values or harm the religious beliefs and sacred places, and
      warn against the use of sectarianism for political ends with the aim of
      dividing the nation, driving a wedge between its states and peoples, and
      igniting destructive civil strife and conflicts in them".

      The participants reaffirmed their support for a sovereign democratic, and
      prosperous Lebanon, and for Lebanon's Legitimate government, headed by Prime
      Minister Siniora. They encouraged the Lebanese parties to support the
      efforts towards resuming national dialogue and noted the imperative of full
      implementation of relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, particularly
      resolutions 1559, 1680, 1701, and 1757. They also took note of the recent
      report of the U.N.'s border assessment team. They called on all Lebanese
      factions and regional parties to respect the legitimate political process
      and to refrain from any activities to destabilize this process. The
      participants strongly condemned all terrorist attacks in Lebanon, including
      the recent assassination of Lebanese Member of Parliament Walid Eido.
      Participants lauded the efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces in its fight
      against violent armed groups, such as Fatah al-Islam, which are determined
      to spread terror, and undermine Lebanese stability. Finally, the
      participants called for the respect of the Lebanese constitution including
      the holding of free and fair presidential elections held on-time, and the
      establishment of Lebanese national unity behind a constitutional process to
      elect a new president.

      2007/653

      Released on July 31, 2007
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