Leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) opened their 19th summit today in Abu Dhabi with an agenda comprising many issues, notably Iraq, Iran, regional security and economic integration. In addition to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the summit's chairman, United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Zaid Ibn Sultan Al-Nayahan, the meetings will be attended by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Esmat Abdel-Meguid, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Izzadin Al-Iraki, and President of the Republic of South Africa Nelson Mandela. Commenting on their attendance, GCC Secretary-General Jamil Al-Hujeilan said today that this is a first in the Council's history, and reflects the important role being played by the GCC at the international as well as the Arab level.
To mark the occasion, the Saudi Press Agency has prepared a comprehensive report on the council's achievements and the issues to be highlighted at the summit.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz arrived in Abu Dhabi today to lead the Kingdom's delegation to the summit on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz.