GCC Foreign Ministers hold "very positive" meeting with Kerry

GCC ministerial meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Brussels

Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) , Mon, Jul 18, 2016

by Nawab Khan

BRUSSELS, July 18 (KUNA) -- Foreign Ministers from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) met in Brussels the US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday discussing a wide range of issues of common interest with him.

"The discussions were really very positive," Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Suleiman Al Jarallah told the Kuwait news agency , KUNA, after the two-hour long meeting.

The meeting covered the regional issues such as the situation in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and relations with Iran, he said.

Kerry earlier met the 28 EU foreign ministers.

Al Jarallah noted that Kerry came to Brussels after meetings in Russia, and the US official informed the GCC ministers about the US and Russian position on the Syrian crisis and the steps to be taken for a political solution and support the efforts of the special UN envoy Staffan de Mastura to resolve the Syrian conflict .

"The discussions were very frank, open and in depth with the US Secretary of State," stressed Al Jarallah.

"The situation in Syria regretfully is very complicated and difficult and requires the continuation of efforts and pressure," he said.

Al Jarallah said that later today the GCC ministers will hold a coordination meeting among themselves, followed by a meeting with the 28-ministers of the EU.

There are many topics of common interest with the EU, he said and stressed that "we have strategic ties with the EU. There are many areas of cooperation and coordination with the EU." "We are satisfied with the progress in EU-GCC ties and these meetings contribute to the strengthening of the ties and opens new horizons for the future of EU-Gulf relationship," stressed the Kuwaiti official.

"We look forward with hope and optimism to today evening's meeting to strengthen the cooperation with the EU on the regional and international level," he said.

Al Jarallah added that a joint EU-GCC statement will be released after the 25th ministerial meeting tonight which will reflect the position of the two regional groups on regional and other issues.