Doha, July 19 (QNA) – HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani is leading the State of Qatar’s delegation, participating in the 18th Consultative Meeting of Their Majesties and Highnesses leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and to the GCC-Central Asia Summit.
The meetings are taking place in Jeddah on Wednesday, and are attended by leaders and representatives from the six GCC countries and the five Central Asian countries: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
The 18th Consultative Meeting of the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council deals with enhancing integration and joint Gulf cooperation. It is the first in eight months after the 43rd Gulf Summit held in Riyadh last December 9.
The GCC-Central Asia Summit is set to discuss issues of common cooperation, especially in the fields of trade and investment, energy, education, scientific research, industry, agriculture, tourism and culture.
Additionally, the Leaders will address several regional and international issues of mutual interest, including supporting stability, enhancing security in the Gulf and Central Asia region, Islamic solidarity, countering extremism and terrorism and Islamophobia as well as other issues of common concerns.
The importance of holding this summit lies in the fact that it is the first of its kind and it reflects the GCC countries’ openness to partnerships with active blocs in the international community, with the aim of strengthening the GCC’s position globally.
The GCC General Secretariat said that the first GCC-Central Asia Summit aims to strengthen the relations between the GCC countries and the Central Asian countries on bases the principles and objectives stipulated in the GCC Charter 1981.
The summit also aims to establish a partnership and develop mechanisms to ensure the sustainability of consultation and dialogue, as well as to enhance cooperation in the areas outlined in the joint action plan between them.
The summit is expected to adopt the Joint Action Plan for the period of 2023-2027.
This plan was presented to the summit by the first Joint Ministerial Meeting between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Central Asian countries, which took place in Riyadh in September of the previous year.
In June 2022, the GCC General Secretariat held a consultative meeting at its headquarters in Riyadh to prepare for the summit. The meeting discussed the progress of the Joint Action Plan and as well as the preparations for the summit.
Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Negotiations at the GCC General Secretariat, Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Owaishek said that the meeting focused on the summit preparations and explored ways to enhance relations between the two sides within the framework of the joint action plan, which was approved at the ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Council in September, with participation of foreign ministers from both sides.
At the conclusion of their meeting, the ministers affirmed their commitment to establishing a strong and ambitious future partnership among their countries. Such partnership is based on shared values, interests and deep historical ties between their peoples, as well as the existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation across various fields. The ministers expressed their determination to enhance collaboration and foster closer relations in all areas of mutual interest.
The closing statement of the meeting said that views were exchanged on regional and international issues and the ministers stressed the importance of coordinating positions between the two sides through the strategic dialogue mechanisms that were established at the meeting.
The ministers also emphasized their agreement on joint cooperation to enhance efforts towards global economic recovery and address the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the recovery of supply chains, transportation, and communication, as well as ensuring food security, energy security, and water security.
They also highlighted the importance of developing green energy sources and technologies, addressing environmental challenges, climate change, education and exchanging best practices and experiences in all fields. Additionally, they emphasized the need to create business opportunities and support investment through appropriate trade and investment mechanisms available to both sides.
The statement indicated that the ministers also stressed the importance of the link between the principles, goals and priorities contained in the concept of interaction for Central Asian countries in the multilateral framework approved by the heads of Central Asian states in July 2022, in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, and the decisions of the Cooperation Council on building cooperation with Central Asian countries.
The statement added that to achieve these goals, the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue and Cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council and Central Asian countries for the period of 2023-2027 has been adopted.
This plan encompasses various aspects, including political and security dialogue, economic and investment cooperation, enhancing people-to-people communication and establishing effective partnerships between the business sectors of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Central Asian countries.
The ministers also emphasized the importance of taking necessary measures for the swift implementation of this plan at both bilateral and multilateral levels, ensuring its comprehensive execution.
Central Asia is a closed geographic region located in the heart of the Asian continent, or the heart of the world. It comprises Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Although it does not have direct access to any open seas, its geographical location makes it of great importance.
The region covers an area of approximately 4 million square kilometers, stretching from western China to the Caspian Sea and Iran in the west. It has a combined population of around 73 million people and a total GDP of about USD 300 billion for the five countries.
These nations possess vast reserves of minerals, oil, natural gas, coal, and water. The gas reserves in Central Asia and the Caucasus account for 34 percent of the global total, positioning them to play a significant role in global energy security. Tajikistan has a huge wealth of water estimated at 65 percent of water resources in its region.