Tuesday, 21 November 2017 10:56 GMT
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Gulf leaders back Saudi Arabia

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Kuwait's emir yesterday opened a Gulf leaders' summit by voicing full support for Saudi Arabia in its fight against Yemeni rebels and calling on Iran to comply with international legitimacy. "We renew our strong condemnation of these aggressions (against Saudi Arabia) and declare full support for whatever actions Saudi Arabia takes to defend its territory," H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah said in his speech. "Any harm to the security and stability of Saudi Arabia is harm to the collective security of the member states" of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), he added. Since early November Saudi forces have been fighting Yemeni Shia Zaidi rebels in the border area after a group of militants killed a Saudi border guard and occupied two Saudi villages. Sheikh Sabah also said the GCC wanted the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme resolved through dialogue, and urged Tehran to "comply with international legitimacy in order to reach a peaceful solution." Sheikh Sabah said the energy-rich nations were determined to forge ahead with further economic achievements, including the launch of a common power grid and rail network. During the two-day gathering, GCC leaders will explore ways to boost and integrate their economies. Work on the forerunner of a joint central bank should start next year but no specific deadline has been set for the launch of a planned single currency, Kuwait's finance minister said. "There is no specific plan for the single currency," Mustapha Al Shamali told reporters on the sidelines of the summit. "It (the monetary council) will be established after the decision (at the summit). At the start of the year we will start to work on it." The Gulf rulers are expected to agree on formation of the monetary council at the summit. The council will set the joint monetary policy until the common central bank is established. Only four of the six GCC members have signed and ratified the monetary pact. Oman withdrew because it was unable to meet the conditions and the UAE withdrew after Riyadh was selected to host the central bank. The GCC leaders will also discuss the fighting in Yemen and Iran's nuclear ambitions. Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al Sabah told a foreign ministers meeting that GCC states were surrounded by "grave security developments and serious economic implications." His Yemeni counterpart Abu Bakr Al Kurbi secured assurances of "economic and security" support from the GCC when he delivered a letter from President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the Kuwaiti ruler.


Gulf leaders back Saudi Arabia

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