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EU, GCC share same interests, challenges: spokesperson

Brussels: The European Union considers the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) an important partner, said an EU spokesperson on Friday.

The two regional organisations share the same interests and challenges, noted EU lead spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, Peter Stano.

“The GCC and its member states are very important partners of the European Union. Most recently we stressed this very clearly in the adopted EU strategy for the Gulf,” he told a news conference in Brussels today.

This strategy already contained the notion of having an EU special representative for the Gulf, he pointed out.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell announced on Thursday that he has decided to appoint a Special Representative for the Gulf to further advance the close cooperation and strengthen ties between the EU and GCC.

“This is an ongoing work. The work is in progress. I cannot share more details because the details are being finalised,” said Stano in response to a question as to when the appointment of the special representative will be announced.

“We will be to make the announcement quite soon with all the details,” he said.

“This is just to underline the importance that the EU is attaching to our cooperation with the GCC, not only in the area of energy but in all the possible fields of cooperation because we share the same interest and challenges and we are ready to work together in overcoming them,” added Stano.

Borrell’s decision followed a meeting with GCC foreign ministers on the margins of the UNGA in New York Thursday, according to a statement released by his office today.

Last May, the EU unveiled a Strategic Partnership with the GCC with the aim to broaden and deepen the 27-member European bloc’s cooperation with the six-member GCC.

The GCC includes Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman.

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