Gulf Arabs 'Astonished' at U.S. Stance on Israel : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Gulf Arabs 'Astonished' at U.S. Stance on Israel

September 8, 2001 11:51 am EST

DUBAI (Reuters) - Gulf Arabs said on Saturday they were "astonished" that their key ally, the United States, was condoning Israeli "racist aggressions" against Palestinians. The foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said they observed with "grave concern the dangerous deterioration in the occupied Palestinian territories due to the racist aggressions carried out by Israel."

In a statement after a two-day meeting in Saudi Arabia, the ministers warned that continued Israeli policies of "siege, hunger, terror, and assassinations" would lead to a collapse of regional security and stability.

They expressed "astonishment that the world community and in particular the United States, the prime patron of peace, continue to overlook Israel's aggressive practices."

The ministers accused Israel of abandoning the accords it had signed with the Palestinians and of provoking neighboring states in a way that "pushes the region toward an explosion."

The oil-rich GCC alliance groups Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman -- all allies of the United States and reliant on Western forces for protection.

Some Gulf Arab leaders have criticized President Bush for what they see as blind U.S. support for Israel.

The GCC meeting coincided with the final, unscheduled, day of a U.N. conference in South Africa, which approved a global plan against racism on Saturday despite disputes over the Middle East and slavery that came close to wrecking it.

The United States and Israel quit the conference on Monday because of draft conference texts describing Israel as a racist state for its treatment of the Palestinians.


Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said in remarks published on Saturday that Arab countries were pondering ways to bring international pressure on Israel.

However, he did not go as far as GCC Secretary-General Jameel al-Hujailan, who told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that the foreign ministers would formulate an action plan in their Friday-Saturday meeting.

Any such move "should be collective and on a comprehensive Arab level," Prince Saud said.

At least 554 Palestinians and 157 Israelis have been killed since the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation erupted last September after peace talks had hit deadlock..

The GCC ministers are due to attend an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Sunday and Monday to discuss support for the Palestinians.,11746,162744|politics|09-08-2001::11:53|reuters,00.html

-- Martin Thompson (, September 08, 2001

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