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Dr Abdullah remembered in glowing terms
By Mahmoud Ads and Hamza M Sengendo May 04, 2014
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SHARJAH: The Dar Al Khaleej Conference’s roundtable session focused on current issues in the GCC and the region at large.

Glowing tributes were paid to Dr Abdullah Omran Taryam at the beginning of the meeting.

The session headed by Dr Yousif Al Hassan saw a host of renowned figures including Dr Saif Al Maskri, Dr Abdullah Al Neibari, Dr Al Fakhro and Mohammed Hussain Al Shaali who discussed solutions to current GCC problems besides future visions.

“If we look at the future of the council – the 33-year-old body that witnessed several meetings, decisions, events and situations – we should be optimistic that its future role will be more significantly developed than the current,” stressed Dr Saif Al Maskri.

“Having worked for 6 years as assistant general secretary for GCC political affairs in Oman, I realised that the GCC basically focuses on regional rather than local issues.

“In order to improve, we the old generation should give a chance to the promising generation. The council lasted for 33 years without concrete progress; we should declare failure, we should admit that we could not achieve aspiration of the citizens.

“In this, governments should both trust and rely on their people, especially the youth who are the future of the nation.

“We should preserve our Arab identity if we seek sustainability and strength. This is the security valve of the region, especially during this period of general unrest, and in the light of a large number of expatriates.  

“We should address the issue of cooperation regarding neighbouring countries (Iraq, Yemen and Iran), apart from the political differences. We need to create a prosperous economic region able to face the changing world.

“The state of instability in both Iraq and Yemen poses a great impact on the GCC, so it should have a significant role in preserving stability and development in them.”

Dr Abdullah Al Neibari urged for sustainable development, social reconciliation with neighbouring countries, increased national income coupled with contribution from national manpower in achieving these objectives.

“Citizens should be involved in decision making and this requires civil and social intuitions connected to the political and economic reform.     

“The GCC education system needs to be unified under accredited certificates for curriculums built upon common education controlled by analogous educational standards,” he said.  

As for Dr Ali Fakhro, he feels each official in the GCC should have a role in decision making. “Our governments have so far failed to assign an independent minister for the cooperation‘s affairs, meaning that the council is not taken seriously.

“The most important challenge faced by the council is that each country sticks to its view and works only for its own interests. If they do not agree on basic policies and interests, the council will not be able to overcome its challenges

“Also it should renew its blood through assigning the missions to the new generation. The GCC should expand to ensure a balance between the Arab and Iranian side on political, economic and development arenas.”

On his part, Dr Mohamed Al Shaali concluded that much more needs to be done because Gulf countries have become unable to confront problems and troubles that Israel and Iran cause and this leads them into misunderstandings among themselves.

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