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Sat 27 Dec 2008 01:56 PM

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Consultation 'the key' to Gulf success during crisis

Parallel Forum set to present its views at GCC annual summit in Muscat next week.

Wider consultation on economic policy is the key to Gulf countries riding out the global economic crisis, a group of activists said in the Bahraini capital on Friday.

"Economic security in the Gulf cannot be guaranteed without the people's participation in policy and decision making," the Parallel Forum said in a statement that will be presented at the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC's) annual summit in Muscat next week.

The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The activists, from Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, called on GCC national leaders to stop wasting oil revenues on buying arms and to stop focusing their economies on oil, a depleting commodity.

"The people of the GCC countries do not accept that once again oil revenues are squandered on an arms race and projects that do not serve the public," the activists said in their statement, released at the meeting in Manama.

The Parallel Forum, which aims to hold corresponding populist meetings at the time of all GCC summits, last year issued a statement called the "Gulf Accord" when the summit was in Doha.

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