Gulf chiefs okay plans for monetary council, union

JEDDAH, September 17, 2008 (AFP) – Finance chiefs of oil-rich Gulf states on Wednesday approved proposals to set up a monetary council and a charter for a monetary union, the Arab bloc’s secretary general said.

Finance and economy ministers of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council approved the monetary union charter and the council’s bylaws during a meeting in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, Abdurrahman al-Attiyah told AFP.

The endorsement of the proposals constitutes a major step toward adopting a single currency, Attiyah said.

The monetary council, agreed in principle by GCC central bank governors in 2006, would be the forerunner for a GCC central bank, which will issue the single currency. But there is doubt about whether the GCC can meet its 2010 target date for a single currency.