44th GCC summit opens in Qatar today
Qatar will host the 44th Summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Supreme Council today.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said in a post on X that he welcomes leaders and representatives of the GCC countries today to Qatar to participate in the 44th Gulf Summit, which is being held at a time when the region and the world are witnessing great challenges in which the Gulf countries can play roles that contribute to resolving them and mitigating their effects.
أرحب بإخواني قادة وممثلي دول مجلس التعاون الشقيقة في بلدهم الثاني قطر اليوم للمشاركة في قمتنا الخليجية الـ44 التي تنعقد في وقت تشهد فيه منطقتنا والعالم تحديات كبيرة يمكن لدولنا الخليجية أن تلعب فيها أدوارا تسهم في حلها والتخفيف من آثارها.— تميم بن حمد (@TamimBinHamad) December 5, 2023
The 44th session is being held during special circumstances at the regional and international levels, as the summit is expected to address the most pressing regional and international issues, notably the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip since October 7,2023, in addition to other economic, political and security files, as well as the summit's most prominent topic of strengthening relations among the GCC countries, increasing co-ordination among them and crystallizing a unified GCC vision on various regional and international issues.
The 44th summit is expected to provide a strong push and renewed start to the GCC work path, based on Qatar's keenness and firm approach to supporting GCC's progress and preserving its unity and cohesion, as it stands as a strong, integrated and indispensable system in the face of the regional challenges.
A number of intellectuals and writers affirmed that the historical and cultural unity that brings together the peoples of the region represents a source of inspiration for unity and strengthens the bonds of brotherhood among the Gulf peoples.
The 44th session will discuss several important issues, notably the completion of the Gulf Electricity Interconnection project, which has seen rapid progress, the most prominent of which is the GCC-Iraq Electrical Interconnection Project.
The Gulf Electricity Interconnection Project represents an aspect of co-operation among the region's fossil fuel-rich countries, aimed at supporting network stability during peak times. The project has expanded to other Arab countries, starting with Iraq, with aspirations to extend to Europe. This comes amid expectations of a slowdown in the growth of electricity demand in the GCC countries until 2025, opening opportunities for the region to export surplus electricity.
Many media reports have indicated that a Pan-GCC visa is on the table for approval by Gulf leaders during the summit. GCC Secretary General Jassim al-Budaiwi first announced the Unified GCC Tourist Visa Project at the 40th meeting of the Interior Ministers of the GCC. The announcement also indicated that the visa is expected to come into effect between 2024 and 2025 across the member states.
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