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Gulf Official: U.S. Assertions not to Change Policy towards Region - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh- A Gulf high-ranking official has said that U.S. officials had comforted Gulf countries about an unchanged policy in the region, adding that the image of the U.S.-Gulf relations would become sharper in the coming weeks.

Commenting on the recent election of Donald Trump as the U.S. president and the effect such a change could have on the U.S.-Gulf relations, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Negotiations at the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Aziz Hamad Aluwaisheg said: “Things remain unclear now, and we are still at the beginning. However, the situation will become clearer in the coming weeks.”

Auwaisheg said that until now, there are confirmations that the U.S. policy towards the region would remain the same. The official said there might be a change in the U.S. method or style of dealing with the region’s developments. “However, the essence of the strategic partnership established last May would not change. Those are confirmations we had received from U.S. officials,” Aluwaisheg said.

Asked about the reasons behind redrafting both the files of the joint market and the committees of Customs Union and whether the projects returned to square 1, Aluwaisheq denied the rumors, and said: “I believe that several issues, including the joint market, were presented to the (Gulf Economic and Development) Authority that had already decided on several points. When the authority was established last May, it was given the responsibility of taking effective decisions.”

Dr. Aluwaisheg said that the Authority had already issued decisions concerning the Gulf joint market established in December 2007. But he added that some exceptions were not completely implemented.

Similarly, Aluwaisheg said that some issues linked to the common customs would need more studies. “The ministerial committees were asked to revise those issues and solve the disputes based on their authorities.” He said if the committees fail to take the necessary measures, the unresolved issues would then be referred to the Higher Council.