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Gulf leaders expected to announce unity plan

May 13, 2012 11:37

DUBAI/RIYADH - Gulf Arab leaders meeting on Monday are expected to announce closer political union, starting with two or three countries including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, a government minister in Bahrain said.

Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also includes Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, are to meet in Riyadh as they grow increasingly concerned over Iran and al Qaeda after the Arab uprisings.

Local newspapers have reported that Saudi Arabia might initially seek closer union with Bahrain, where majority Shi'ite Muslims have rebelled against a monarchy that, like the other GCC dynasties, is Sunni Muslim and allied with the United States.

"I expect there will be an announcement of two or three countries. We can't be sure but I have a strong expectation," Samira Rajab, minister of state for information affairs, said on Sunday.

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