GCC to speed up customs union


In a press conference after the conclusion of the 9th consultative session of the GCC leaders, GCC chief H E Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Attiyah said the leaders underlined the need to complete requirements for the establishment of the GCC common market before the end of the current year to achieve the cherished economic integration among GCC member states. The creation of the GCC common market is expected to be declared at the next GCC summit, Al Attiyah said.

The leaders have entrusted the GCC general secretariat to complete the studies on the GCC water network in order to be forwarded to the coming summit, the GCC chief added. The GCC leaders have also decided to follow up on primary studies held on the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in the light of decisions taken at the Riyadh summit.

Reading the final statement, Al Attiyah said the leaders reviewed the latest developments in the region and also in the international arena, including the regrettable incidents in the Palestinian territory, and called on the Palestinian leaders to commit themselves to the Makkah agreement, to halt violence and bring to justice all those who are behind Palestinian infighting in order to bolster unity among the Palestinian ranks.

The statement highlighted the Arab League efforts and the positive response from the regional and international parties towards the relaunched Arab peace plan and expressed hope that the international response would be translated into action to advance the peace process at the earliest possible time.

The leaders expressed regret over the escalation in sectatian strife and terrorists acts in Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government to accelerate efforts for achieving national reconciliation, amendment of the constitution and to work for fair distribution of the Iraqi wealth and disarm militia and introduce political and economic reforms.

The leaders called on the Lebanese leaders to end the internal crisis and unite the Lebanese ranks to serve first the higher interests of Lebanon and secure the stability of the country.

On relations with Iran, the leaders reaffirmed the GCC stance concerning the right of the UAE to its three islands held by Iran, calling on the latter to solve the problem through direct negotiations or refer the issue to the International Court of Justice, the statements said.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, the GCC leaders called for the need to arrive at a peaceful solution in order to save Iran and other countries in the region from further tension.

The leaders hailed the historic visit by the Iranian president to the UAE and hoped it would help solve the islands crisis.

The leaders reviewed the GCC cooperation drive and expressed their determination to continue their march towards progress and work for the welfare and other aspirations of the people of the GCC countries.

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