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‘GCC and EU meetings to promote ties, cooperation’ Trade exchange 145 bln euros annually

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 8, (KUNA): The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) meetings with the European Union (EU) will help promote cooperation and coordination in all domains, thus boost relations between Arab and European people, a senior official said Sunday. Ambassador Nasser Al-Muzayyen, Director of the GCC Department at the Kuwait Foreign Ministry, leading the GCC side to the 2nd informal meeting with the EU, noted that trade exchange between the two sides reached 145 billion euros annually. Al-Muzayyen commended the regular meetings between the EU officials and the GCC ambassadors in Brussels, during which the EU inform the diplomats about outcome of the Iranian nuclear talks as well as other issues. He also said the GCC-EU cooperation has positive results vis-a-vis the Yemeni conflict. Al-Muzayyen said he was looking forward to holding “honest and effective” dialogue between the GCC and EU which would contribute to understandings over many issues.

Hugues Mingarelli, Managing Director for the Middle East and Southern Neighborhood at the European External Action Service (EEAS), said the GCC countries were very important and a major economic partner for the EU countries. He said the GCC had a major role to addressing many conflicts like the crisis in Syria, Iraq and relations with Iran. Mingarelli said the two sides should exchange views over regional matters more openly. He hoped today’s meeting would contribute to common positions at different levels. For her part, Amal Al-Hamad, head of the GCC Mission to the EU in Brussels, said the cultural activities held by the GCC in EU countries, like the GCC Days in Sweden last month, contributed largely to boosting bilateral relations. She said GCC Secretary General Abdulateef Al-Zayani met with the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and discussed ways of fostering political, economic and cultural relations between the two blocs. Al-Hamad highlighted importance of meetings between GCC Ambassadors in Brussels and European MPs

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