Gulf ministers say integration plan needs more discussion

By REUTERS
September 2, 2012 21:32




JEDDAH - Gulf Arab foreign ministers said a plan to integrate their six countries, proposed by Saudi Arabia last year as a response to Middle East turmoil, needed more discussion after they met in Jeddah on Sunday.

Saudi King Abdullah had urged the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to move "to the stage of unity in a single entity" at the end of a speech in December that focused on last year's Arab uprisings and a perceived threat from Shi'ite Muslim power Iran.

The GCC countries, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, in January ordered a committee to study the idea and it presented its proposals to the foreign ministers before Sunday's meeting.

"Given the need for more time and discussion, the council decided to assign the general secretariat with finalizing the viewpoints of member countries and presenting them to the ministerial council in its next session to study and give a recommendation on it to the supreme council," the GCC said in a statement after the meeting.


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