King Abdullah’s Iraq initiative high on Abu Dhabi GCC Summit agenda

November 8, 2010

Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Abu Dhabi next month will be a new landmark in the development of the six-member council, a top official said.

“The first summit held in Abu Dhabi in 1981 was crucial in discussing unity and bringing together the six members of the council politically, economically, culturally, militarily and in many other ways,” Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah said.

“The next summit in Abu Dhabi will also be outstanding in the decisions it will make, particularly following the string of achievements in the last ten years,” he told Al Siyassah.

Al Attiyah cited the establishment of the customs union in 2003 and the Gulf common market in 2008 among the economic accomplishments, and hoped the monetary union would materialise soon.

The Gulf monetary union was delayed after the UAE and Oman had sharp differences over issues related to the union, considered a significant step towards full Gulf economic integration.

“We most certainly have high hopes the UAE will join the monetary union. The UAE is the second biggest economy in the GCC and it is an essential pillar of the Gulf union,” he said. “Regardless of what has been and is being said, the UAE remains a leader and an icon. We do hope that it will join the other GCC countries in the monetary union,” he said in the interview published yesterday.

Al Atiyyah, who will attend his last summit as secretary general, said that Saudi King Abdullah’s initiative to have all Iraqi parties hold reconciliation talks in Riyadh under the umbrella of the Arab League to overcome divergences would be high on the summit agenda.

The GCC secretary general reiterated the council’s support to the UAE in the dispute over its three islands occupied by Iran.

“We have repeatedly stressed the GCC position supporting direct peaceful negotiations or resorting to the International Court of Justice in The Hague,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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