GCC secretary-general ‘hopeful’ of wider Gulf Union

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The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is ‘hopeful’ that member countries will form a wider union, which could include a monetary pact and shared currency.

Abdullatif al-Zayani, speaking at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, said the prospects of forming a Gulf Union were “very positive and favorable”.

The GCC was established between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE in an agreement concluded on May 25, 1981.

The idea of a wider Gulf Union has gained traction since Saudi’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz spoke of the proposal at the GCC summit held in Riyadh in 2011.

Such a move could expedite some of the original aims of the GCC, such as a common market status and the establishment of a single currency.

Al-Zayani confirmed that the formation of the much-anticipated Gulf Union would lead “to some kind of financial unity”.

“The initiative of His Majesty King Abdullah was received with greetings… to move to a state of GCC to union,” he said.

“As the secretary general I am hopeful… I think it will be declared in a summit to be held in Saudi Arabia,” he added, without elaborating.

Al-Zayani fielded several questions from the audience at the Arab Media Forum, including some accusing the GCC of being ineffective.

“We hear questioning of the mission of the GCC,” Al-Zayani responded. “[But] what did you do for the GCC? This is the question that needs to be asked. Each one of us has a role to play in the GCC, regardless of their position.”

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