British PM visits Gulf states

Gordon Brown to appeal to leaders to help combat the global financial crisis.

    Markel, left, and Brown have agreed to support a fund to combat the credit crisis [AFP]

    "It's in everyone's interests that there is stability and, over the long term, sustainable growth in global markets."

    IMF facility

    Earlier this week, Britain and Germany backed the creation of an International Monetary Fund facility to help struggling economies withstand the credit crisis.

    But the IMF would need more funds to operate such a facility.

    Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the UAE foreign minister, said on Thursday that Gulf Arab states were willing to make all the necessary efforts to protect the international economy.

    "I think Gordon Brown's trip will be an exercise in futility"

    Ibrahim Oweiss,
    professor of economics at Georgetown University

    Ibrahim Oweiss, professor of economics at Georgetown University, told Al Jazeera that there was little incentive for the Arab countries to contribute as they were not responsible for the financial turmoil.

    "There is nothing they [the West] can give in return as a business transaction. They don't have enough to give, or they are not willing to give any economic collateral for any aid that they get," he said.

    "I think Gordon Brown's trip will be an exercise in futility."

    Brown is also likely to raise his concerns over plans by oil producing countries to reduce output to halt falling crude prices.

    "Over the long term global demand for oil is increasing and so the long-term price is likely to increase," Brown's spokesman said.

    "What we want to avoid are the sudden sharp increases that we've seen in recent months."

    Oil prices have dropped from a record high of $147 a barrel in July to less than $70 in recent weeks

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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