Abu Dhabi, Asharq Al-Awsat – Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah, secretary general of the GCC states, has stated that the GCC member states have not yet set a date for convening the forthcoming summit which will be hosted by the Omani capital of Muscat. In response to a question by Asharq Al-Awsat on when a new date will be set for the summit after the changing in the previous date, Al-Attiyah said that the final date for the summit has not yet been decided. He pointed out no new date has yet been set “because this issue is procedural and still under consultation.”
According to Al-Attiyah, the new date has not yet been finally decided and the new date will be announced in the days or weeks ahead.
According to certain Gulf sources, consultations are under way among the GCC member states to set anew date for the GCC summit, which had been previously scheduled to be held in Muscat on 24-25 November.
According to these sources, the most likely date for the six GCC member states’ 29th summit is the end of this year, specifically on 29-30 December, as this new date suits all member states.
An Omani Foreign Ministry Official has told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Sultanate of Oman is discussing with the GCC member states the forthcoming date of the summit, noting that the intention is to hold it in December.
The Omani official underlined that the GCC summit will not host any party from outside the GCC member states, in reference to reports about a tendency to invite Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to attend the summit, as he was invited to the latest Doha GCC summit.
Previous GCC summits were usually held in the first week of September every year, but because this year the time coincided with the pilgrimage season these states decided to move up the date to the last week of November. However, they later changed this date again and are discussing to hold it on new date end of December.
Al-Attiyah announced that he would visit Tehran this month in response to “a kind invitation from my brother the Iranian foreign minister.” According to Al-Attiyah, during his visit to Tehran he will discus Gulf-Iranian relations “and various political issues,” including the Iranian nuclear program. He also said that the Gulf finance ministers will meet in Riyadh this Saturday to discuss the global financial crisis. The GCC Higher Council’s consultative panel will hold its third meeting of the 11th session in Muscat today and tomorrow.
The agenda of the meeting includes discussion of the report prepared by the working team assigned the task of reviewing the proposals of the consultative panel regarding its assessment of the GCC’s progress along with other topics.
It worth mentioning that the consultative panel ended a discussion of the ad hoc committees’ reports on inflation, the hike in prices and their social effects on citizens and on the GCC states’ economies, the problem of the unemployed and the social impact of this problem, and ways of addressing it. The consultative panel’s viewpoints on these issues will be referred to the GCC’s Ministerial Council at its forthcoming meeting in preparation for referring them to the Higher Council at its forthcoming session scheduled to be held in Muscat, Oman.