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GCC approves monetary union
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10:10, December 31, 2008

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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has approved Tuesday the monetary union accord at its 29th annual summit meeting in Oman.

The accord still awaits for ratification of the member states from now till the end of next year.

The leaders has agreed to set up the monetary council, which will evolve into the Gulf central bank. The location of the monetary authority has not been decided yet and will be discussed from now until the middle of next year.

The accord also said the single currency is to be issued in 2010 in accordance with the plan, unless the monetary council decides something else.

The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But Oman said it cannot join the single currency in 2010, so it could be issued initially in other Gulf nations.

Convinced by the success of euro zone, the Gulf leaders decided in 2001 to set up a monetary union and adopt a single GCC currency in 2010, a key step toward full regional economic integration.

In addition to the monetary union, Israeli raids on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and preparation for an emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo were high on the agenda of the two-day summit in Oman.

Established in 1981, GCC is a regional political and economic alliance aimed at enhancing cooperation among its six member countries.


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