Gulf Arab nations put into force a monetary pact Tuesday, moving a step closer toward the goal of a single regional currency and greater integration between the states. The announcement by Kuwait's finance minister came as leaders from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council nations ended a two-day summit in which they launched a regional electricity project and discussed, among other issues, Iran's nuclear program and the war in Yemen.
Mustafa al-Shimali told Kuwait's official KUNA news agency that the launching of the monetary pact would allow the governors of the central banks of the six GCC nations to set up "a timetable for the establishment of a regional central bank, with the aim of launching a unified Gulf currency."
The plan has hit repeated obstacles, however, with the United Arab Emirates and Oman saying they would not be part. Al-Shimali expressed hope that the two nations would join "in the near future."