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GCC summit opens with call to combat terrorism

posted on 22/12/2003: 690 views

Kuwait - Gulf states must engage in "regional and international" measures to fight terrorism, the Kuwaiti prime minister said at the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit yesterday. The two-day summit will focus on terrorism and reform of education syllabuses to counter militancy.

"The spread of the phenomenon of terrorism to some countries in our area must be among the most grave dangers and challenges that our area and the world is facing," Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, said in his opening remarks delivered on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait. "This requires regional and international efforts to confront it," he added.

The summit will also discuss step toward economic integration, including a common currency and a common market. Representing the UAE at the summit is a delegation led by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Interior ministers of the GCC states have drafted a pact on combating terrorism which the leaders are expected to approve at the summit.

Sheikh Sabah said his country was "closely following" the situation in Iraq and the capture of Saddam Hussain. "We hope this will be the beginning of a new stage during which the brotherly Iraqi people will be able to rebuild their country," he said. Sheikh Sabah denounced the repressive practices of Israeli forces in the Occupied Territories, noting that such actions constituted a threat to the security and stability of the region. He urged the need to finding a fair solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict in accordance with international laws.

In his speech, Sheikh Sarah lauded the efforts of the GCC leaders over the last 24 years that had led the GCC people's prosperity. After the first session, the leaders held a closed session during which they endorsed the summit's agenda. Afterwards, GCC secretary general Abdul Rahman Al Attiya presented a comprehensive report on the status of various GCC projects undertaken since the last summit. (Associated Press, AP and the Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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