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UAE hopes to rejoin Gulf single currency

Abu Dhabi, December 5, 2010

The United Arab  Emirates hopes it and Oman will rejoin a planned Gulf single currency project one day, UAE economy minister was quoted as saying by a Saudi newspaper on Sunday, ahead of a Gulf rulers  summit this week.

Rulers from Gulf countries will meet in UAE capital Abu Dhabi on December 6 and 7 to discuss political, security and  financial issues affecting the world's top oil exporting region.

'The Emirates still hopes that there will be a single  currency for the countries of the (Gulf Cooperation) Council  one day,' Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri told Saudi newspaper  Al-Eqtisadiah.

The second largest Arab economy withdrew from the project  last year in protest against placing the joint monetary  council in rival Saudi Arabia. UAE policymakers had said  rejoining was not on the table unless it is profitable.

Neighbouring non-Opec Oman pulled out in 2006 and ruled out any comeback.

Only four countries from the six-nation GCC -- Saudi  Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain -- remained committed to form the long-delayed monetary union but the project made  little progress this year with the euro zone debt crisis  limiting its appeal.

Al-Mansouri said the goal was to reach an agreement among all  Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, adding Gulf  policymakers would discuss the union during the forthcoming  summit.

'We in the Emirates believe our destiny is in the common  Gulf region, whether economically, politically or socially,'  he said.

The GCC secretary general said in May the single currency  was unlikely to be launched by 2015 after missing the initial  2010 deadline.

Analysts have said Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil  exporter and the main driving force behind the monetary union,  faces a challenge to keep the project rolling as the economic  power of fellow crude exporters rises. - Reuters




Tags: UAE | Oman | Gulf | GCC | single currency |

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