KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah opened an annual summit of wealthy Gulf states yesterday with a call for an end to the “human catastrophe” in Syria. Sheikh Sabah, who gave a share of the spotlight at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit to the head of Syria’s main opposition bloc, also condemned the United Nations for failing to halt the 33-month conflict. “The human catastrophe is still ongoing in Syria which calls on us to double efforts and work with the international community, especially the UN Security Council which has remained unable to put an end to this human tragedy,” said the Amir.
He issued the plea as National Coalition president Ahmad Jarba appealed for urgent help for the Syrian opposition and for civilians. “The Syrian people need you today to tell the whole world that the Syrian regime will have no future in the country,” said Jarba, who also thanked Kuwait for launching an “aid fund” without providing any details. Jarba accused President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime of “supplying arms” to the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in a bid to defeat the revolution. Jarba reiterated that the opposition had agreed to attend next month’s Geneva 2 peace conference under conditions including that Assad plays no role in any transitional government.
During the two-day summit, leaders are due to discuss boosting economic integration, military and security coordination in addition to upgrading the GCC into a confederation, and ties with Iran. Only three leaders are attending, the rulers of Qatar, Bahrain and host country Kuwait. The Saudi crown prince is representing King Abdullah, while Oman is represented by the deputy premier and the United Arab Emirates by its vice-president and prime minister.