Arab Today, arab today eu and gcc agree to foster and expand parliamentary cooperation
Last Updated : GMT 20:03:31
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

EU and GCC agree to foster and expand parliamentary cooperation

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today EU and GCC agree to foster and expand parliamentary cooperation

Brussels - KUNA

Parliamentarians from the 6-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the 27-member European Union held their first historic meeting at the European Parliament Wednesday and agreed to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two blocs. Welcoming the GCC parliamentarians, the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, said the aim of the meeting is to upgrade EU-GCC ties. "The future of strategic partnership means even more intensive dialogue," he stressed and described the partnership with the GCC as "the most important partnership for the European Union." Abdulla Bin Mohammed AL SHEIKH, Speaker of Saudi Shura Council, who led the GCC delegation as his country holds the current GCC Presidency, said the GCC aspires for even closer ties of friendship and partnership with the European Union. He noted that the GCC countries have a solid political and economic basis and rich cultural heritage and and their parliaments play a very important role. Abdulla Bin Mohammed AL-Sheikh in his speech referred to developments in Syria, Iran's nuclear issue, the Middle East Peace process, Sharia, human and women' rights. He said crimes against humanity continues in Syria and called for the implementation of UN resolutions and for cooperation with UN-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to resolve the crisis. He urged all countries to join efforts to end proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and called on Euroe to play an active part In moving forward the Middle East Peace Process. "We are open to cooperation with you in all areas," he told the EU Parliamentarians. On her part, Angelikan Nielber, chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsual said the EU is very keen to support this strategic partnership with the GCC and hoped that the relations become more strategic and dynamic. Several Members of the European Parliament posed questions on Iran's nuclear issue, Bahrain, Syria, investments in the EU from GCC, womens' issues, Sharia, terrorism. Members of the GCC parliamentary delegation replied to the questions with frankness and firmness. The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

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