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ARAB-AFFAIRS - May 25 - GCC Plan For Unified ID Cards.

Commemorating the GCC's 23rd anniversary, the six Gulf states finalise a plan for unified ID cards for their nationals. The main feature of the cards, which will bear both the GCC's and the member state's logo, is "inter-operability" - making its features readable in all GCC states. The cards will use smart card technology and have common security features and accessing devices. A statement issued by GCC's Sec-Gen. Abdel Rahman Bin Hamad Al Attiyah says: "Though Saudi Arabia and Oman have started working on the ID project, Bahrain will be issuing the ID cards with all the features incorporated from day one. Bahrain will start issuing the cards to its citizens in the next two months". (Saudi Arabia only last week finally launched its own new electronic ID cards after a series of delays). The planned GCC card also stores fingerprints and details of passport, driver's licence and medical records. It is slated to facilitate movement of GCC nationals among member states for work and business purposes. Plans are also under way to ease travel restrictions for foreigners, which have been hampering the movement of hundreds of thousands of expatriates living in the six GCC countries.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:May 29, 2004
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