Saad A. Alammar, GCC's Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, said the new challenges facing the GCC, which is emerging as an increasingly critical partner to advancing common interests of peace and security in the region, will also be discussed at length by the Gulf leaders.
Those interests include all regional developments including Iran, Libya, Yemen, Syria, maritime security, counter-terrorism, energy security and countering weapons proliferation, said the GCC's Deputy Chief.
He said the emphasis will be more on how to ensure closer coordination and boost further cooperation among the six nations. "The six-nation GCC is at the forefront of boosting peace and security in a region, which is currently witnessing chaos," said Alammar.
The two-day summit, the first since the region-wide protests unseated 3 veteran Arab Leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, will also look at possible ways to solve crises in a number of neighboring states.
Alammar, who accompanied GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayyani to Yemen early last week, said the transfer of power in Sana’a and the announcement of general elections in February 2012 were welcome developments.
On the question of Iran and its nuclear program that will be discussed by the GCC Heads of State, he called on Iran as well as Israel to refrain from fooling the world on the issue of their nuclear programs. He, however, said that all countries have the right to acquire nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. He reaffirmed the resolve of the GCC states to ensure that the Middle East region remains free from weapons of mass destruction.
On Syria, he said the GCC as a bloc stands to support Syria to restore peace and stability as well as maintain its unity.
On the question of Libya, he said the GCC was happy a new phase has already started in the country.
On economic issues, a report released by the GCC General Secretariat said the GCC is set to exempt over 800 products from customs duties in bilateral trade between the member countries from next year. The GCC Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee has finalized the list of products, which will be submitted before GCC Supreme Council today. Once the Riyadh Summit approves the list, the exemption of customs tariffs will come into effect from January 2012.
Source: Arab News