Ebola battle: GCC takes unified stance

Updated 17 August 2014

Ebola battle: GCC takes unified stance

GCC countries have pledged to take a unified stance to combat the deadly Ebola virus by training health officials and making use of regional facilities to diagnose and treat such diseases within the Kingdom.
“The meeting that took place between GCC health officials in Riyadh on Wednesday came in good time,” Tawfiq Khoja, director-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Health Ministers’ Executive Office, told Arab News.
The meeting, held under Khoja’s chairmanship, discussed national, regional and global experiences of the virus and also chalked out a common strategy to combat the disease.
“Delegates will make every effort to keep the disease out of the region,” he said.
The Ebola outbreak, the worst ever recorded, is centered in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, but has spread to other countries in recent months.
The virus is a severe and often fatal disease that affects and kills up to 90 percent of humans infected with the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus a global health emergency.
Delegates will also promote cooperation, coordination and exchange of information and experiences between the GCC countries and specialized international organizations, such as the WHO, the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Periodic assessment of the disease at national, regional and at global levels would also be carried out, officials said.
A German laboratory recently reported that samples taken from a Saudi man were negative for Ebola virus, the Ministry of Health announced.


King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

Updated 14 min 33 sec ago

King Salman meets GCC leaders for 40th Gulf summit in Riyadh

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • Among the many issues expected to be discussed is a greater level of integration between Gulf countries

RIYADH: GCC leaders arrived in Riyadh Tuesday for a summit that will focus on improving integration between Gulf countries.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting will be chaired by King Salman, who met the representatives from each country as they landed.

The heads of the delegations including the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani said Gulf leaders will discuss a number of important issues to enhance the process of cooperation and integration among member states in various political, defense, security, economic and social fields.

They will also review regional and international political developments, security conditions in the region, and their implications for the security and stability of the GCC countries.

Among the topics on the agenda is the war in Yemen and Iran’s interference in regional affairs.

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.