Gulf Arabs agree to boost security

Gulf Arab states say they have agreed to boost cooperation against al-Qaida, drug trafficking and money laundering in the oil-rich region.

    The GCC is a loose political and economic alliance

    The six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said in a communique that they agreed on specific steps, including cross-border and coastguard cooperation, to combat smuggling and infiltration. 

    But the interior ministers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain did not enact a May 2003 counter-terrorism pact to share intelligence and cut red tape. 

    "It's going through measures for implementation," GCC Secretary-General Abd al-Rahman al-Attiya said after the meeting on Sunday.

    Some ministers had said they had hoped to put it into effect. 

    Swapping information

    The communique said the ministers agreed to exchange information in their fight against al-Qaida and its allies.

    The GCC countries will also cooperate on sharing knowledge of internet crime. 

    In the past year, al-Qaida has made extensive use of the internet for propaganda and training in their violent campaign against the monarchy in Saudi Arabia. 

    The attacks in the world's largest oil exporter and birthplace of al-Qaida leader Usama bin Ladin have targeted foreigners, police and state installations. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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