GCC denies air campaign against ISIL has failed
DOHA // The Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday rejected claims a US-led coalition air campaign against ISIL has failed following advances by the extremists in Syria and Iraq.
Speaking in Doha, after a meeting between foreign ministers of the GCC and European Union, Qatar’s foreign minister Khalid Al Attiyah conceded that military action alone was not enough.
“The coalition is not failing but the air campaign is not enough,” said Mr Al Attiyah, who was representing GCC countries at the meeting.
“There are so many steps which we have to cooperate and coordinate together. To date the campaign against terror is effective.
“One of them is to enhance and expedite the dialogue in Iraq, and in Syria it is to find a way out to save the Syrian people,” he said.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that “only a political solution, both in Syria and Iraq, can provide a settlement for the crisis”.
The ministers also discussed the conflict in Yemen ahead of UN-brokered peace talks expected to take place next week in Geneva.
Yemeni president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi has laid out conditions for attending Thursday’s talks, namely that Iran-backed Houthi rebels who overran much of the country withdraw from territory they have seized.
The meeting also saw both sides agreeing to continue discussions on establishing a free trade area between the 28-member EU and the six-state GCC.
* Agence France-Presse
Updated: May 24, 2015 04:00 AM