Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) holds 30th Summit in Kuwait City
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  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders met at Kuwait City for the 30th GCC summit on 14-15 December. Few important decisions were taken by the GCC during the two-day summit besides expressing concerns over some of the regional and international developments. GCC launched the GCC Monetary Union Pact and moved ahead towards a single currency plan. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar signed and ratified the Gulf Monetary Union Pact while United Arab Emirates and Oman opted out of the Union.1 Under the pact, a Gulf Monetary Council would be established early next year to develop into a central bank which could later take the necessary action to issue a single currency.

    Meanwhile, GCC leaders also agreed to create a Joint Rapid Deployment Force to address security threats in the region. Abdulrahman Al-Attiyah, Secretary General of the GCC, stated that, “The force would intervene in situations similar to an incursion into Saudi Arabia by infiltrators earlier this year,” adding that, “The force will be one of the pillars that will support stability and security in the region.”2 GCC leaders unanimously approved the appointment of Muhammad Al-Mutawa, former information and Cabinet Affairs Minister of Bahrain as the new GCC Secretary General from March 2011.

    Over the regional issues, GCC leaders opposed any military action by Western countries against Iran over its nuclear program and welcomed international efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue peacefully via diplomatic means. The GCC leaders condemned Israel's unilateral policies alleging that they are directed at changing the geographic and demographic conditions of the occupied Palestinian territories. They also called on the international community to force Israel to stop settlement-building activities, remove the separation barrier and forbid the Israelis from undermining the status of Jerusalem and the sacred sites.3 GCC expressed full solidarity with Saudi Arabia in protecting its lands and the safety of its citizens, affirming that any aggression against Saudi Arabia was an assault against the security and stability of all the GCC states. The GCC also extended its full support for the unity, security and stability of Yemen. GCC reiterated its stance over UAE's sovereignty over the three islands - Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Moussa - which have been occupied by Iran, including their regional waters, air space, continental shelves and the economic zone as an inseparable part of the UAE.4