Washington, The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, attended on Wednesday, 31 October 2018, in Washington, the 27th Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference; organized by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; with the participation of a number of Arab ambassadors to the United States, former ambassadors of the United States to Arab countries, elite thinkers, researchers, businessmen and media from both sides. In his opening address, Dr. al-Zayani, stressed that any vision for the future of the Middle East must be rooted to the reality of today's challenges in the region. These geopolitical challenges are both well-known and exceptionally complex, require a vision that is agreed by likeminded countries of the region to achieve security, stability and peace, supported by a comprehensive strategy based on interdependence. The Secretary-General said that Interdependence is the long term concept that will allow us to move from firefighting to fireproofing � to put in place frameworks, networks and norms that align national or vested interest to a wider regional benefit, and which prioritizes cooperation over conflict.
Dr. al-Zayani said that the European stability, development and prosperity was achieved by the implementation of the principle of interdependence among European countries, supported by common goals and values, through the interdependence and integration of European organizations, and networks, the natural infrastructure linking countries and peoples, roads, railways, joint energy networks, border trade supply terminals, and the unprecedented levels of intraregional trade have made European nations and peoples more eager to care for the sustainability of peace, cooperation and prosperity.
The Secretary-General stressed the need to adopt a coordinated and strong response that includes political and economic measures, to the States and groups that are trying to destabilize the region.
Dr. al-Zayani referred to the Iranian role and Iran's destabilizing behavior towards the region. He said that the regime in Iran is determined to export its own brand of sectarian theocracy, and to do so by systematic efforts to undermine neighboring states, in a clear violation of international laws and in particular the United Nations Charter, which calls on nations to abide by the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of others. Across the Middle East, we have Iranian proxy groups spreading hatred, division and violence, and working with their allies overseas as they try to undermine or delegitimize the states of the region.
His Excellency stressed the importance of the role of allies, such as the United States, to be key partners in realizing and supporting the vision I have set out of greater regional interdependence and cooperation. They can do so through supporting the efforts to grow networks of intra-regional cooperation, to nurture � from our small beginnings � the institutions, the links and the trust that will be required. They can do so, too, through being a vocal advocate of the benefits that will follow, and by encouraging all concerned to move seriously and in good faith towards this goal.
The Secretary General emphasized that one way of doing this is to create a network, a web, to which nations of the whole region with differing beliefs and ideologies will wish to be glued through a common vision of stability, security and prosperity. This web will be based on the key concept of interdependence and it is one way in which diverging interests can be persuaded to converge for a common benefit.
Source: Bahrain News Agency