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  During his Speech at the Ministerial Council meeting of the ACS: HE GCCSG Notes to the Aspiration of the GCC and the Association to Hold Their First Summit in the Near Future and Stressed the Importance of Their Relations

General Secretariat – Paramaribo

His Excellency Mr Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), noted to the aspiration of the GCC countries and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) to hold their first summit in the near future, stressing the importance of their relations to develop a closer, long-term partnership that serves the interests of both sides and achieves the desired goals.

This came during HE the Secretary General’s participation in the 29th regular meeting of the Ministerial Council of the ACS, held on Thursday (May 8, 2024) in the city of Paramaribo, the capital of the Republic of Suriname, in the presence of His Excellency Mr Chan Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname, and the participation of the Association’s member states and a number of international observers.

On the occasion, HE the Secretary General said that this high-level meeting provides two very important opportunities, which are to discuss and review relations between the GCC countries and the ACS, including issues that affect the peoples of both regions in every aspect. He also stressed that the meeting gains special importance because it comes in light of rapid regional and international developments.

Furthermore, His Excellency pointed out that this meeting is an indication of the strength of the relations between the GCC and the ACS. He recalled the joint ministerial meeting between both sides, held on September 18, 2023, in New York City, where they signed a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the aspects of partnership and cooperation between them. He also recalled the adoption of the Joint Action Plan for the period 2023-2027, which included the main objectives and mechanisms of political dialogue, ways to encourage and facilitate trade, investment, and tourism cooperation, as well as joint cooperation in international forums and organisations. Additionally, His Excellency cited the coordinated efforts to confront the challenges facing the global economy, highlighting the GCC countries' continuous efforts to achieve economic and social growth and prosperity.

During his speech, HE the Secretary General also stressed the firm position of the Cooperation Council towards the Israeli aggression on Gaza, demanding an immediate and long-term ceasefire, and calling on the Israeli occupation forces to stop hostilities throughout Gaza and other areas in Palestine, and to ensure the delivery of all humanitarian and relief aid and basic needs for the Palestinian people.

His Excellency expressed gratitude to His Excellency Mr Albert Ramdin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation of the Republic of Suriname (the current presidency country of ACS), and His Excellency Mr Rudolfo Sabonge, Secretary General of the ACS, for the essential role of the Association in promoting cooperation, regional integration and sustainable development, with the aim of creating an attractive economic climate in the region and preserve the environmental integrity of the Caribbean Sea, which is the common heritage of the peoples of the region.

At the end of his speech, His Excellency also thanked the members of the Association for their support to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in hosting Expo 2030, in line with the Kingdom’s vision and directions, mentioning that this reflects the development visions of other GCC countries and signifies the culmination of development, economic, and social goals inspired by all the GCC countries, adding that this aims to move towards a prosperous future and sustainable development, creating numerous opportunities in trade and investment with member states of the ACS nations.