Doha, Qatar, 24/05/2015
Co-Chairs' statement 24th GCC-EU Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting
- The 24th session of the Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the European Union (EU) was held in Doha, Qatar on 24 May 2015. The GCC delegation was led by H.E. Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar as GCC rotating Presidency, and the EU delegation was led by H.E. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission. The GCC Secretariat was represented by H.E. Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashed Al-Zayani, GCC Secretary General. The Ministers extended their appreciation to the State of Qatar for having hosted the meeting.
- GCC and EU Ministers underlined the importance of further strengthening their ties, to serve as a solid and effective foundation for regional and international stability and security. Both sides welcomed the enhancement of their political dialogue, notably through the holding of regular GCC-EU Senior Officials meetings, noting in particular the most recent one held in Brussels on 5 May 2015.
- The Ministers exchanged views and identified common concerns and priorities with regard to the situation in the region, notably on Yemen, Iran, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East Peace Process. They took note of the Riyadh Conference on 17-19 of May and agreed on the need to seek a solution to the Yemeni conflict on the basis of the UN Security Council Resolution 2216, the GCC Initiative and the Outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. The Ministers also addressed global issues of common interest, in particular counter terrorism, and strongly condemned the heinous attack against worshippers in Qatif, Saudi Arabia on 22 May. They underlined the strategic importance for the EU and the GCC to coordinate closely on these developments.
- GCC and EU Ministers reviewed progress in the GCC-EU relationship and endorsed the minutes of the latest Joint Cooperation Committee held in Brussels on 4 May 2015. The Ministers expressed determination to address together common political, social, economic, and security challenges. Ministers noted with satisfaction that two-way trade represented more than €148 billion in 2014, a very significant increase from the €100 billion recorded in 2010.
- The Ministers welcomed cooperation initiatives undertaken since the last Ministerial, notably through the GCC-EU dialogues on the economy, air transport, the energy experts group, exchanges on railway transport, trade with a focus on sanitary, phytosanitary and standardisation issues, as well as cooperation on economic diversification in the context of Climate Change, of particular importance in the context of the upcoming 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties to be held in Paris in December 2015. Ministers looked forward to expanded GCC-EU relations through increased people to people contacts, and further cooperation in the social, economic, educational, cultural and scientific fields, and human rights.
- GCC and EU Ministers agreed to hold their next meeting in the EU in 2016.