Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Sunday, 11 October 2009 16:22 UK

Kuwait wants Gulf currency delay

Mina Al AHmadi Port, Kuwait
Kuwait is one of four Gulf nations to join the union

Kuwait has called for the launch of a Gulf monetary union and single currency - due in 2010 - to be delayed so it could address "technical issues".

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain signed an accord in June to create a joint monetary union council as a prelude to a Gulf central bank.

This would be followed by the launch of a single currency, though observers said the target date was optimistic.

United Arab Emirates and Oman withdrew from the project earlier this year.

These withdrawals dealt a blow to further economic integration in the oil-rich region.

The UAE objected to the Saudi capital Riyadh being chosen to host the future central bank, and said it would be keeping its own currency, the dirham, which would remain pegged to the dollar.

Meanwhile Oman said it was not ready to meet the preconditions.

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