Upheaval in region tops agenda of GCC summit

This consultative meeting of the GCC leaders will also share information and look at possible ways to solve the crises in a number of states in the region, in particular Yemen, Libya, Syria and Iraq as well as Afghanistan.
The meeting, which comes a week after the killing of terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden and amid delays in the endorsement of the GCC-brokered deal for Yemen, is expected to “shed light on the security situation in the region and terrorism at large,” said a GCC spokesman, without divulging more details.
The  leaders may also spell out an action plan to deter Tehran and to stop its growing interference in the affairs of GCC states.
“Iran and the questions surrounding its nuclear program have been a potential cause of concern for the Arab world,” said the spokesman, referring to the “belligerent mood” of Tehran.
The meeting also has added significance given the call from Yemen’s opposition on the Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign the GCC-brokered deal and step down.
The summit also comes just a day after a GCC meeting that was convened to unify plans and policies on nuclear capability.
“The summit will also enable GCC leaders to review their common policies and programs covering a wide spectrum of political, economic, security, social and cultural fields,” said Abdullatif Al-Zayani, GCC secretary-general, here on Monday.
According to sources, the GCC leaders will give the green light to a $20-billion GCC development fund to aid Bahrain and Oman. The fund, announced in March, is to provide $10 billion over 10 years to each country to upgrade housing and infrastructure.
Referring to the situation in Yemen and the possible failure of the GCC-brokered deal, a report published this week said that the GCC leaders would definitely talk about the unrest in Yemen.
Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar was in Riyadh on Monday where he held talks with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, and conveyed a letter from Saleh. He left Sanaa on Sunday for a tour of the Gulf countries.
It was unclear whether he would stay and address Tuesday’s summit on the Yemen crisis. But he has letters for all the other GCC leaders from Saleh, and they are due in Riyadh for the summit.
The report said that the GCC summit would discuss several other topics related to the regional security and stability besides Middle East peace process.
The prospect of a joint GCC nuclear program is expected to figure during the talks. Senior GCC officials and experts wrapped up a meeting here Monday after discussions on a joint GCC nuclear power program for civilian purposes. “The meeting was part of a process of harmonizing all individual efforts exerted by the Gulf states with regard to preparing for all necessary legal and management infrastructure in the field of nuclear energy,” said a Saudi scientist associated with the Kingdom’s nuclear program.
He said that the GCC meeting had looked at two nuclear power options — a member state going it alone or joining a common GCC program. 
The preference had been to go for the latter, especially in terms of the safety regulations and nuclear hazards, said the scientist.
This summit is the 13th consultative council meeting of the GCC leaders. The council consists of a 30-member GCC consultative commission to which every member state sends five representatives.

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