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Bahrain hosts GCC meeting

Dec. 24, 2012 at 6:54 AM

MANAMA, Bahrain, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A two-day meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council attended by the area's top government ministers kicked off Monday in Bahrain.

The meeting was expected to focus on military cooperation, environmental protection and accelerating steps for economic unity, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Khalifa told the Qatari daily al-Sharq.

The occupation of three United Arab Emirates islands by Iran and the Islamic Republic's nuclear program were also to be discussed at the summit, Gulfnews.com said.

The Syrian conflict is also expected to be high on the agenda, al-Arabiya said. Last month, Persian Gulf states Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the first members to recognize the newly formed opposition bloc as the Syrian people's legitimate representative, the pan-Arab network noted.

The GCC is a political and economic union established in Abu Dhabi in 1981. Members are the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Jordan and Morocco have been invited to join.

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