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Oman endorses Al Mutawa.

Byline: Habib Toumi

Manama Oman has officially endorsed the nomination of Bahraini Mohammad Al Mutawa as the next secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

In a written message from Sultan Qaboos of Oman to King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, Muscat said that it welcomed the nomination of Al Mutawa to succeed Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah as the head of the six-member alliance.

Al Mutawa, a former information and Cabinet affairs minister and currently cultural adviser to Bahrain's prime minister, is expected to take over in March 2011. He now needs only the public endorsement of Qatar. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait have already expressed their support to Al Mutawa.

Earlier this year news emerged that Qatar might seek to prolong the tenure of Al Atiyyah who has been secretary-general since April 2002, but they remained unconfirmed.

Other media reports that surfaced in Kuwait claimed that the GCC leaders were discussing the nomination of Mohammad Al Saqr, a 57-year-old lawmaker and former head of the Arab Parliament, as the next secretary-general. The reports said that Bahrain, scheduled to assume the position, had given up its turn in favour of Kuwait.

However, Manama said that it was determined to have the position rotated in the Arabic alphabetical order of the names of the six member states. Bahrain was scheduled to assume the position in 2002, but gave up its turn after a request from Qatar.

Abdullah Bishara of Kuwait was the first secretary-general of the GCC, established in 1981 in Abu Dhabi. He was succeeded in 1993 by Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi of the UAE, Jameel Al Hujailan of Saudi Arabia in 1996 and by Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah of Qatar in 2002. The Secretary-General is nominated for a renewable three-year term.

Al Mutawa holds a university degree in philosophy and social studies.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 29, 2009
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