Doha, Qatar: Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani emphasized that the joint action plan between the GCC countries and the Republic of Turkiye has proven its effectiveness, which prompted the two sides to coordinate to continue holding the meeting of committees and joint technical work teams and work to extend the joint action plan until 2029.

In his speech during the 6th Joint Ministerial Meeting of the GCC-Turkiye High-Level Strategic Dialogue, His Excellency said that during this meeting, they look forward to unifying visions, exchanging viewpoints, and intensive coordination between the GCC countries and the Republic of Turkiye to achieve security and peace, and joint efforts in all fields between the two sides.

His Excellency indicated that the common interest in strengthening cooperation between the two sides was behind the tangible development in the level of relations, pushing them to wider and broader horizons at the various political, economic, security, cultural, and social levels. His Excellency voiced the State of Qatar's appreciation for the humanitarian and development efforts made by the Republic of Turkiye in the Gaza Strip, and at the regional and international levels, to consolidate global security and stability.

In this regard, His Excellency stressed the importance of continuing coordination and joint development cooperation between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkiye, which was recently demonstrated in the humanitarian aid provided to the fraternal Palestinian people. His Excellency noted that Turkiye is considered one of the most important countries supporting the mediation efforts undertaken by the State of Qatar, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United States of America to reach an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said that the strategic bilateral relations between the GCC countries and the Republic of Turkiye represent a testimony to the strong and multifaceted partnership between the two sides. This relationship is rooted in historical, cultural, and religious ties built on political and social foundations, and includes cooperation in various fields.

His Excellency added that the continued cooperation between the GCC countries and the Republic of Turkiye through diplomatic channels and economic initiatives is led by a common goal, which lies in achieving stability and prosperity in the region, and in a way that contributes to strengthening international peace and security. In this context, His Excellency emphasized the importance of continuing the discussions, strengthening relations between the two sides, and moving forward to further cooperation toward a strategic partnership that includes various areas of common interest.

For his part, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the sisterly Republic of Turkiye HE Hakan Fidan said that Turkiye pays great attention to its relations with the GCC countries, which have reached an advanced level and are constantly developing in various fields.

During his speech at the meeting, His Excellency added that the volume of trade exchange between Turkiye and the GCC countries increased by 40 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, and its value reached around USD 31 billion. He pointed out that Turkiye is considered a favorite destination for tourists from the GCC countries, saying that more than 5 million tourists from the GCC countries have visited Turkiye.

His Excellency emphasized Turkiye's endeavour to strengthen institutional cooperation with the GCC countries, noting that the participation of the President of the Republic of Turkiye HE Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the GCC 44th Summit last year in Doha, is a historic milestone in the relations of the two sides. Weeks after the Summit, HE the President of Turkiye issued a visa waiver decree for citizens of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

His Excellency also pointed out that last March, negotiations for a free trade agreement between the GCC countries and Turkiye were resumed.

On the other hand, HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkiye said that global governance mechanisms have failed to approach the challenges, thus the importance of regional cooperation is evident in finding solutions to regional problems, especially the Palestinian cause, to achieve regional peace and security.

His Excellency added that Israel is committing horrific crimes in the Gaza Strip, and some countries remain silent and this must stop, and attention must be paid to what is happening in Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. He pointed out that the difficult humanitarian conditions there cannot be ignored, and all pressure cards must be used on Israel and its allies, in addition to uniting the efforts to defend human rights and universal values, praising the continued efforts of the State of Qatar to reach a permanent ceasefire.

HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkiye pointed out Turkiye's success in increasing the number of countries that recognise the State of Palestine, calling in this regard for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip with concrete steps that increase the pressure on Israel.

His Excellency also noted Turkiye's announcement of its decision to join the case raised by South Africa before the International Court of Justice against Israel, in addition to stopping trade with it, voicing Turkiye's readiness to contribute to the reconstruction of Gaza.

HE Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi said that the sixth strategic dialogue meeting between the GCC countries and Turkiye is of great importance as it provides opportunities for consultation between the two sides on international and regional issues of common interest, working together to enhance the security and stability of the region, and deepening the bridges of cooperation between the GCC and the Republic of Turkiye and expanding their scope. It culminated in agreeing to extend the joint action plan between the two sides to the year 2029.

In his speech during the meeting, His Excellency noted the important results of the Gulf-Turkish summit, which brought together Their Majesties and Highnesses leaders of the GCC countries, with HE President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkiye last December in Doha, and which contributed to strengthening political, security and economic coordination between the GCC countries.

He pointed out that the joint ministerial meeting between the GCC and the Republic of Turkiye, which is being held for the first time after the signing of the joint statement to begin negotiations on free trade between the two sides, is an indication of the strength of the deep strategic partnership between the GCC countries and the Republic of Turkiye, a qualitative leap in the strong relations, and a new witness to the regional and international status that the GCC countries have achieved in all fields, including the commercial, economic and financial standing, while looking forward to the completion of these negotiations.

His Excellency expressed his great pride in the memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides, establishing the strategic dialogue between the GCC and the Republic of Turkiye in 2008 based on historical relations and the common cultural heritage and in response to the desire and firm conviction of the wise leaders from both sides of the necessity of promoting cooperation in all fields, in an effort to achieve the common goals and interests of our countries and peoples within a comprehensive strategic framework.

He added that the joint ministerial meeting between the GCC states and Turkiye comes in light of worrying regional and international political and security developments, with the accelerating events that the region is going through in view of the war launched by the Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip. As this meeting is unfolding, there are Palestinians being killed at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces. Without a doubt, what is happening in the Gaza Strip hurts us all, and calls on us to redouble efforts to stop this war waged by the Israeli occupation forces on the Gaza Strip for which innocent Palestinian civilians are paying the price, and its repercussions extended to different regions of the world and harmed the freedom of maritime navigation in the Red Sea, as a result of the Houthi group's attacks on ships and tankers crossing the Bab al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea, he added.

The GCC Secretary General stressed the need to stop the military operations launched by the Israeli war machine against civilians in a war against humanity that has exceeded all limits, while emphasizing the categorical rejection of the forced displacement of civilians and the continued targeting and direct bombing of United Nations centers for distributing food and sheltering the women and children displaced from their residential areas and infrastructure using various weapons, noting that these actions occur in full view of the countries of the entire world and its international organisations without deterring Israeli crimes or holding it accountable for its flagrant violations of international law and international humanitarian law.

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