Key issues to be discussed at GCC summit in Kuwait

Riyadh: Custodian to the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullag is to lead the Kingdom’s delegation to the summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is scheduled to start in Kuwait today.

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al- Faisal, who arrived in Kuwait on Sunday with Finance Minister Ibrahim Al- Assaf, attended a ministerial meeting with his Gulf counterparts to give final touches to the GCC summit agenda, discuss draft decisions and talk about the main point of a joint statement to be released later by the Gulf leaders.

“The summit will start on Monday evening and I expact that the heads of Gulf states would start arriving in Kuwait around midday,” said Ahmed Al- Kabi, a spokeman of the GCC General Secretariat, via telephone from Kuwait.

Asked about the agenda, Al-Kabi said he was not aware of the specifics so far. However, mojor political and commercial issues, including Iran’s nuclear standoff, terrorism, the Middle East peace process, the Saudi position on intruders, a common currency and way of further strengthening ties among member states of the GCC are likely to be discussed at the two-day-summit.

In fact, the GCC summit will discuss the whole range of regional and international issues including Iran’s nuclear program and Saudi defense of the Saudi-Yemen border,” said a report obtained by Arab News here on Sunday.

The summit coinsides with the call given by Yemen Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qurbi on Sunday, asking tehran to crack down on Iranian groups he accused of aiding Houthi rebels in northen \yemen, said the report.

The GCC leaders, will, as a result, address the situation in Yemen politically and evaluate GCC-funded developmental programs. The summit will also assert the firm stance toward supporting Yemen’s security and assure Sanaa about continuous, support for development from the Gulf bloc, said abdul Rahman Al- Attiyah, in a statement, on Sunday.

It is importent to note in this context that the GCC summit coincides with Al-Qurbi’s visit, who is in Kuwait carrying a letter of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah saleh to Kuwait’s president and other GCC heads. The letter is said to deal with the situation in Yemen.

Also on the agenda will be the role of the Gulf bloc in tackling political challenges like the Middle East peace process, Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab territories and the eventual establishment of an independent Palestine state. The report said that Dubai’s debt crisis provides the unsettled backdrop to the annual gahering of leaders from the GCC. Guld leaders are expected to give the green light to a number of multibillion-dollar economic projects but it remains unclear whether they will also step in to ease the woes of debt-ridden Dubai.

The GCC would also officially launch a monetary union pact, likely to approve a multibillion-dollar railway network and commission the start of a common power grid project, said another GCC official on condition of anonynity.

He said that the question of the appointment of a new GCC secretary-general of the 2011-2014 term could also be discussed.

In June this year, Bahrain nominated Mohammad Al-Mutawa, cultural adviser to the Bahraini prime minister, to the post. All Gulf states except Qatar have supported Bahrain’d choice. But Hoda is seeking to extend Al-Attiyah’s term to 2014.

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