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UPDATED: 11:13, December 11, 2006
Gulf Arab states to seek peaceful nuclear technology
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Leaders of six Gulf Arab states announced on Sunday that their countries will jointly develop peaceful nuclear technology and draw up a plan for this purpose.

The leaders made the announcement in a communique issued at the end of the two-day 27th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit. The group consists of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

At the closing session of the meeting, GCC Secretary-General Abdul-Rahman al-Attiya said the GCC member states have the right to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

He also made assurances that all nuclear-related activities of the GCC nations will abide by international treaties and be subject to external scrutiny.

Speaking to the press after the summit, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal dismissed the speculations that the GCC's decision to seek nuclear technology will heighten regional tension.

"We will develop nuclear technology openly, rather than clandestinely. We don't want atomic bombs," he said.

In the communique, the GCC leaders reaffirmed their support for resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis through peaceful means, and called on Iran to pay attention to environmental problems and keep dialogue and cooperation with the international community, particularly the

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The GCC countries have long been concerned that neighboring Iran was developing nuclear weapons or there could be a nuclear leak in the country.

The leaders also urged Israel to accede to treaties on the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and allow international inspection of all its nuclear facilities.

The communique also touched upon the issues of Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon,and Sudan's Darfur. It promised to take measures to strengthen economic cooperation and complementarity among the GCC member states.

The GCC leaders decided to extend the term of al-Attiya for three more years and designated Oman as the venue for the next summit meeting of the regional group.

The Riyadh-based GCC, established in 1981, aims to enhance the coordination and cooperation among its member states and promote regional integration.

Source: Xinhua

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