RIYADH: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN | Arab News Staff
Sunday 3 March 2013
Syria, Iran and the Israel-Palestinian conflict will top the agenda at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and US Secretary of State John Kerry tomorrow.
A day before the meeting with Kerry, the GCC foreign ministers will be holding their regular session today at the GCC General Secretariat.
The US-GCC talks are expected to be rich in political contents with added focus on the US administration’s policies on Syria and Iran. After meeting with his GCC counterparts in Riyadh, Kerry will fly on to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
The meeting of Kerry with Gulf ministers is significant, as the Arab states – including the Gulf countries – have expressed growing concerns, frustrations and disappointments about the US policy on several regional issues, mainly on Syria. The Gulf states have repeatedly called for rebel forces to be armed in their battle against President Bashar Assad’s regime, a move opposed by the US.
Asked about the agenda of the today’s GCC ministerial meeting, Saleem S. A. Al-Alwi, a spokesman of the GCC Secretariat, said, “The foreign ministers will discuss the whole range of regional issues including Syria. This ministerial meeting comes a day after an important meeting of the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul, where they will elect their prime minister and government to run parts of free Syria.”