Interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council states have unanimously approved the introduction of a unified Gulf tourist visa.

During their 40th meeting, held in the Omani capital Muscat, the ministers also gave the green light for the launch of an electronic system linking traffic violations.

Jasem Albudaiwi, secretary-general of the GCC, said the unified tourist visa scheme, to be implemented within “a specific timetable,” was a further sign of increased cooperation between the Gulf States.

The ministers also directed the preparation of a council strategy to combat drugs and reviewed security awareness campaigns.

Albudaiwi noted that GCC countries had received regional and international recognition for their progress on security issues.

He said: “Making these accomplishments requires securing a high-level of national security, and ensuring the deterrence of any threats that may impede the region’s development.”

He pointed out the growing threat posed by illegal drugs to communities in GCC nations, and lauded several national campaigns rolled out in the region to tackle the problem.

“(Combating drugs) requires everyone to work hand in hand to confront its spread among the youth of the GCC countries according to a unified strategy that addresses all fronts (prevention, control, and treatment),” Albudaiwi added.

Source: Arab News