31st GCC Summit held in UAE

December 7, 2010

The 31st Summit of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began its proceedings in Abu Dhabi yesterday under the chairmanship of UAE President Sheikh Khalifah bin Zayed Al-Nahayyan. The Saudi delegation to the meeting was led by Second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz and included Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Justice Dr. Mohammed Al-Essa, Minister of State and Member of the Council of Ministers Dr. Mutlab Al-Nafisah, Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf; Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zainal, Minister of State and Member of the Council of Ministers for Majlis Al-Shura Affairs Dr. Saud Al-Mathami and a number of other senior officials.

Speaking on the sidelines of the gathering, GCC Secretary General Abdulrahman Al-Atiyyah explained that the delegates have many goals. “The Abu Dhabi summit is being convened at a critical time when the pace is being accelerated to boost joint GCC action and maintain security and stability,” he stated. Topics on the agenda include the GCC customs union, common market, and single currency, he added, noting, “The summit will approve a resolution allowing companies to open branches in member states, a move that is expected to deepen economic citizenship and improve joint investment climate.” Finally, Al-Attiyah reported that issues involving transportation, electrical power and nuclear energy were being discussed.

At the outset of the summit’s final session, the GCC Secretary General read a cable sent by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who expressed regret that he could not be present. “As we all look forward to achieving the objectives and goals of our peoples, and despite my absence from the meeting in view of my indisposition, my presence is there at the meeting with my spirit, participating with you in the aspirations and objectives of our historical responsibilities, wishing you a grand success in your endeavors,” said the King.