KUWAIT/RIYADH: GCC leaders attending an annual summit here have opposed any military action by Western countries against Iran over its nuclear program, Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah said on Tuesday. “We do not accept any military action against Iran,” he told reporters.

As the Gulf leaders ended the two-day talks, a GCC monetary union pact took effect on Tuesday, a major achievement of the summit that would bring the Gulf Cooperation Council states closer toward launching a single GCC currency.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah led the Saudi delegation to the summit.

“The Gulf monetary union pact has come into effect,” Kuwaiti Finance Minister Mustafa Al-Shamali was quoted as saying by KUNA news agency. “Accordingly, GCC central bank governors will work out a timetable for the establishment of the Gulf central bank to ultimately launch the single currency,” said Al-Shamali. Under the pact, a Gulf monetary council to be established early next year would develop into a central bank which would then take the required measures to issue a single currency. Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have signed and ratified the pact while the other two members — Oman and the United Arab Emirates — have opted out of the union.

The UAE, the second largest economy in the GCC, withdrew from the union over objections to selecting Riyadh as the base for the future Gulf central bank. Oman said it couldn’t meet the union’s prerequisites. Al-Shamali expressed hope, however, that the two countries would join the monetary union “in the near future.”

The summit leaders said they welcome “international efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis through peaceful means.”

“We urge Iran to comply with what is required from it by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and deal positively with international legal resolutions,” said Al-Shamali. The communiqué called for the implementation of IAEA regulations on all countries of the region without exception, including Israel.

The Gulf leaders have reaffirmed their support to Saudi Arabia against any attempt to undermine its security and sovereignty. “We are fully behind Saudi Arabia against the cross-border assaults launched by armed infiltrators against the Saudi territories,” the communiqué said. They also extended full backing to the unity, security and stability of Yemen. Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah opened the summit on Monday voicing full support for Saudi Arabia in its fight against Yemeni infiltrators. “We renew our strong condemnation of these aggressions (against Saudi Arabia) and declare full support for whatever actions Saudi Arabia takes to defend its territory,” the emir said in his opening speech.

The GCC countries also agreed to create a joint force for quick intervention to address security threats posed to any of the GCC member states. “The force would intervene in situations similar to an incursion into Saudi Arabia by the Yemeni infiltrators,” said GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah.

Al-Attiyah said GCC leaders have unanimously approved the appointment of Muhammad Al-Mutawa, a former information and Cabinet affairs minister in Bahrain, as the new GCC secretary-general from March 2011. The summit said the GCC states do not feel threatened by Iraq’s massive plans to expand its oil production. Iraq has awarded a number of contracts to international oil companies with the aim of boosting its crude production from the current 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to above 10 million bpd during the next several years. — With input from agencies

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