Saudi foresees reconciliation over monetary union

Review of GCC single currency plan should win back UAE, says King Abdullah.  
Saudi foresees reconciliation over monetary union
By Joanna Hartley
Wed 27 May 2009 10:03 AM

Saudi’s king has indicated that the dispute with the UAE over the citing of the GCC central bank will be resolved as part of a new review of monetary union plans.

In comments to local Kuwait media on Tuesday King Abdullah said he was confident that the UAE’s withdrawal from the single currency would be reversed as a result of the review.   

“The coming review before the implementation would resolve what has been disputed,” he told Arabic daily Alseyassah.   

“The atmosphere for reviewing the monetary union agreement is open and the UAE has an alert leadership ... We do not doubt their keen (interest to safeguard) the strength of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” he added.

However, on the same day the UAE’s central bank governor ruled out all “negotiations” on reversing its decision to pull out of monetary union.

Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi told media at a conference in Abu Dhabi: “We are not negotiating. For the time being, the UAE’s position is to withdraw.”

But, King Abdullah downplayed the UAE’s withdrawal, saying that there would always be differences of opinion among leaders on various issues.

“The leadership of GCC countries could disagree over certain opinions and issues, but these differences would quickly fade. The brotherly relations between Saudi Arabia and the UAE will remain and any difference of opinion will soon disappear in the coming reviews,” he said.

“The agreement on the monetary union ... would undoubtedly be subject to review before approval and enactment,” King Abdullah added.

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