December 20, 2011 / 1:47 PM / 8 years ago

Gulf states approve $5 billion aid to Morocco, Jordan

RIYADH, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Energy-exporting Gulf Arab states decided at a summit on Tuesday to set up a $5 billion fund to help development projects in aspiring Gulf Cooperation (GCC) members Morocco and Jordan, a final communique said.

“The higher council agreed to set up a Gulf development fund, which starts with offering support for development projects in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Morocco, to the value of $2.5 billion each,” the final communique said.

Gulf Arab countries said in September they plan to fund a five-year development aid programme for Morocco and Jordan, and the amount will be set in December.

The Gulf monarchies are seeking closer ties with Arab kingdoms outside the Gulf as part of efforts to contain pro-democracy unrest that is buffeting autocratic ruling elites throughout the Arab world, analysts say. Jordan and Morocco are the only two Arab states outside the Gulf with monarchies.

The United Arab Emirates said last month there was no consensus yet among Gulf Arab states on admitting Jordan and Morocco to the GCC. (Reporting by Sami Aboudi)

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