KUWAIT CITY: (Agencies: 15/12/2009): Gulf States have brushed off economic threats as they strode towards launching their own single currency.
Winding up the 30th meeting of the Supreme Council of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, leaders also issued joint statements to back Saudi Arabia in its fight against Yemeni rebels and opposition to military action against Iran.
But economic issues were at the forefront of talks at the two-day summit held in the shadow of a debt crisis in Dubai, the financial hub of key GCC member the United Arab Emirates.
GCC leaders also decided to take the bullish step of establishing a monetary council and asked its board of directors to take all necessary measures to issue the single currency.
The GCC Supreme Council also approved setting up of a GCC railways authority to supervise the implementation of the GCC railway project and coordinate with the member states to integrate the project with the national railway networks in the member states.
The Supreme Council stressed the importance of education and the need to consolidate efforts in this area. This, it noted, required the establishment of a GCC authority for educational standardization and accreditation, which would coordinate with universities and other higher educational bodies.
It also called for intensifying efforts to achieve water and food security, which demanded the establishment of a GCC food security centre that would conduct studies on ways to tackle the issue.
The GCC also agreed to create a joint rapid deployment force to address security threats in the world’s top oil-exporting region.
Kuwait s foreign minister said the Gulf States opposed any military action against Iran over its nuclear programme.
The Kuwait Declaration endorsed the efforts of the Executive Bureau of Health Ministers in preparing a report on the establishment of a Gulf centre to monitor contagious diseases.
The Council also proposed the establishment of a regional centre for sustainable development for coordination among the GCC states to protect them from all forms of environmental pollution and the chronic shortage of water resources.
On the Palestinian cause and the issue of peace in the Middle East, the leaders urged major international players to immediately seek the implementation of N Security Council resolution 1860 which called for the lifting of the siege on the Palestinian people in Gaza and to open the border crossings.
The Council commended the role of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in ensuring success to joint Arab action efforts and HH’s effective role in enhancing cooperation. The supreme council welcomed the formation of the Lebanese government headed by Saad Al-Hariri, expressing hope it would achieve security and stability in Lebanon.
On Sudan, the Supreme Council praised the efforts of the Sudanese government to resolve the Darfur problem as well as other efforts to reach a peaceful solution in Darfur.
In this context, the Supreme Council lauded the good efforts made by the State of Qatar as part of the Arab Ministerial Committee and in coordination with the African joint mediator for the African Union and the United Nations for arranging and sponsoring peace talks in Doha between the Sudanese government and the armed movements.
On the issue of Somalia, the Supreme Council expressed regret at the continued deterioration of the situation there and renewed its call for all Somali parties to seek national reconciliation.