Gulf ministers express solidarity with France

17th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Gulf foreign ministers expressed solidarity with France Tuesday after attacks claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 129 people in Paris.

"The ministers affirmed the support of the Gulf Cooperation Council to France and her friendly people at this difficult moment," the six-nation bloc's secretary general said in a statement after a meeting in the Saudi capital.

Friday's shootings and suicide blasts "will only reinforce the determination of France and the entire world to continue to combat terrorism and uproot these organisations hostile to human civilisation," said GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani.

The statement came at a ministerial meeting to prepare for the GCC's annual summit in December.

The GCC includes the Sunni-dominated monarchies of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar,Kuwait and Oman.

Since September 2014, French warplanes based in the Gulf have been flying missions against the Sunni extremist Islamic State group in Iraq.

France extended its attacks on IS to Syria in September this year.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE also carried out air strikes against IS in Syria as part of a United States-led coalition, although their participation in that campaign diminished after a Saudi-led alliance in March began bombing Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

© 2015 AFP

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