Bahrain King heads to Saudi summit
Manama, December 19, 2011
His Majesty King Hamad today heads Bahrain's delegation to the 32nd session of the GCC Supreme Council in Riyadh.
Leaders are expected to focus talks on accelerating regional turmoil, and fears of Iran's influence in the wake of US withdrawal from Iraq.
'Several regional issues impose themselves on the summit this year, including relations with Iran as well as the situation in Syria and Yemen,' Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi said.
But it is the potential expansion of Iranian influence in this strategic region after the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq that most concerns Gulf monarchies.
However, the Peninsula Shield forces are on the alert for any threat, GCC Secretary-General Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani has said.
Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, meanwhile, attended ministerial-level meetings in Riyadh to prepare for the summit. They agreed to fast-track customs union.-TradeArabia News Service