GCCs ex-chief: Arab countries have genuine chance to achieve economic integration

GCCs ex-chief: Arab countries have genuine chance to achieve economic integration

KUWAIT, March 22 (KUNA) — Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) former Secretary General Abdullah Beshara called Saturday on the importance of having strategies, economic and trade agreements in order to achieve Arab economic integration.

“The Arab countries have a genuine opportunity that should be seized in order to have strategies, and economic and trade agreements in order to strengthen the Arab economy and trade,” Beshara said in a seminar about “Personal Experience,” part of activities of the 25th Arab summit, due in Kuwait on March 25-26.

He called on the Arab League to “stop wasting time on military and security strategies and to work instead on formulating ways of economic and trade cooperation, in order to promote economic development as opposed to lack of progress and agreement at the military and security fronts.” Beshara meanwhile hoped the Arab summit would succeed in achieving conciliation among the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) countries.

He attributed the slow progress of the GCC march to the lack of public opinion that might act as a pressuring tool. The GCC, he added, “needs friends to defend it and taking into consideration that the GCC is a system built on consensus.” He said he was selected as the first Secretary General of the GCC, which was established on May 25 1981. His termed expired in 1993.

The GCC, added Beshara, benefitted from the Arab League’s experience to achieving its objectives in different domains.

The GCC countries – Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman – believes in consensus among its members, he noted.

Beshara said the GCC was launched at the start of Iran-Iraq war, sought to maintain balance of powers in the region, preserving the safety and sovereignty of its member countries, emphasizing on moderation the Gulf identity.

Beshara was Kuwait’s Ambassador to the UN from 1971 until his appointment as Secretary General of the GCC 10 years later.