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MENAFN - Arab News - 10/12/2013
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(MENAFN - Arab News) Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, will lead the Saudi delegation to the GCC summit, set to start Tuesday in Kuwait.
The agenda will include the Saudi proposal to form a Gulf union, regional turmoil, Iranian overtures following its nuclear deal, Syrian crisis, Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, and youth and women empowerment issues.
"The heads of Gulf states including Saudi Arabia will be accompanied by a large contingent of top officials and diplomats," Abdullah Al-Hashem, GCC's assistant secretary general, said on Monday. Al-Hashem, who is cochairing a panel to prepare the final communiqu of the two-day summit, said: "The supreme council session will also focus on human development, welfare and the overall prosperity of Gulf citizens."
Asked about the summit's final agenda, another GCC official said: "Several points on the agenda were fine-tuned by the GCC foreign ministers, who met in Kuwait on Monday."
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal attended the GCC ministerial meeting dedicated to preparing the final agenda.
The agenda of the GCC summit was discussed during the Saudi Cabinet meeting chaired by Crown Prince Salman here Monday, according to a Saudi Press Agency report. The Cabinet was briefed on several issues related to joint GCC initiatives, achievements and future plans. Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah will chair the 34th summit.
The nuclear agreement reached last month between Iran and Western countries will top the agenda. The GCC leaders will also have discussions on the Iranian occupation of three United Arab Emirate islands, the implementation of the Gulf-brokered power-transition deal in Yemen, and a plan to launch a joint GCC police force.

Abdullateef Al-Zayani, secretary general of the GCC, said in a statement released on Sunday that the summit is being held during an ''extremely sensitive'' time. The Gulf leaders, he said, would discuss the security situation and the proposal to transform the GCC into a fully-fledged union.
Al-Zayani dismissed claims that there are major differences between the GCC members despite Oman recently rejecting the idea of a union. He said there was already high-level cooperation in all spheres, including among the armed forces of the Gulf countries.
"The defense integration is key to the regional security apparatus and it is on top of the agenda of the Gulf leaders," he said, hinting that important resolutions are expected on Gulf security. On foreign policy coordination, he said: "The Gulf countries and their leaders are committed to the basic principles of not interfering in others affairs, holding regular dialogue to address conflicts, and clearing the region of weapons of mass destruction."
He said the summit would review a wide range of key issues such as boosting economic cooperation, human rights, environmental protection, healthcare and joint cultural projects. The heads of the GCC governments would also continue discussions over the proposal to adopt a single currency. They will review the outcome of the GCC Customs Union and consider new measures to remove all customs barriers to facilitate trade between their countries.
The six-nation GCC is a regional grouping. Its presidency rotates periodically among the member states in alphabetical order. Kuwait is the current president of the GCC. It was established in Riyadh in May 1981 and has its headquarters in the Saudi capital city.


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