Top-level Saudi delegation to attend GCC summit in Doha

Crown Prince Salman
Crown Prince Salman

Crown Prince Salman

A high-ranking Saudi delegation will travel to the Qatari capital to attend the forthcoming GCC summit on Tuesday. This would have “positive and constructive” effects on bilateral ties among the member states, while helping to resolve many other regional issues.

“Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, is likely to lead the Saudi delegation,” said a Gulf diplomat, here Saturday. But this was yet to be confirmed.

Osama Nugali, a spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said “an official statement will soon be issued from the royal court in this regard.”

Last year, Crown Prince Salman attended the GCC summit on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. “This year a very substantial participation from the Saudi side is expected after the rapprochement among the GCC member states following an initiative by King Abdullah,” said the diplomat, while referring to the agenda that is full of bilateral, regional and international issues of common concerns.

He pointed out that the relations with Egypt would be center stage at the Doha summit besides the civil war in Syria and the ties with Iran.

The GCC foreign ministers have already drawn up a final agenda of the summit.

It will also focus on regional economic growth including the unified customs union, the Gulf power grid, and finding ways and means to unite the GCC countries’ financial and economic policies. The agenda also includes a discussion on water resources including a unified water project.

The project, to be executed in three phases, is estimated to cost around $10 billion. This project, which will primarily address the problems faced by the GCC states on account of the depleting water resources, will be launched in 2020, if mutually agreed upon by the heads of the GCC governments. A range of other regional political issues including the Middle East peace process, Yemen, oil and the global market will be taken up for discussions.

The future membership of Jordan and Morocco as well as the proposal to transform the GCC from a bloc to a “GCC Union” may also be discussed during the summit.

Doha streets are decked up with national flags of the six countries in preparation for their Dec. 9-10 summit.

The GCC is a major economic bloc, which holds its summit once every year. The value of trade exchanges among the GCC member states currently exceeds $121.3 billion annually. The GCC common market has turned out to be one of the world’s largest economic blocs with a total population of 50 million, an aggregate GDP of $1.6 trillion and total foreign trade of $1.4 trillion. The GCC, as a major regional organization, was established in 1981.


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