GCC leaders end summit; Iran offers to be examined
Gulf Arab leaders ended their summit on Tuesday one day after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian president to attend the gathering with an offer to sign a security pact. He also offered to sign a 12-point cooperation plan, including on free trade and joint investments in oil and gas.
In a brief remark on Tuesday, the Qatari presidency of the summit welcomed the Iranian leader's proposals. "They will be examined by the GCC in a way to reinforce the relations of good neighbourhood and mutual respect... and to contribute to strengthening security and stability in the region," it said.
On the home front, the six countries agreed to launch a pan-Gulf common market by January 2008 and maintain a 2010 target date for the launch of a single currency, Gulf Cooperation Council chief Abdulrahman al-Attiyah said, according to AFP. The common market is aimed at achieving fairness for the people in the six Gulf states in business, investment, employment, education and medical care, according to al-Attiya.
The bloc launched a customs union in 2003 and aims to set up a common market by 2007 and to adopt a single currency in 2010.
al- Attiyah confirmed the leaders at the summit decided to stick to a 2010 date to launch their single currency. "The leaders have decided to continue to work towards achieving the monetary union... and confirmed keeping the date of 2010," the secretary general told reporters.