Persian Gulf Airline Security Execs Meet to Discuss Measures

KUWAIT CITY -- Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) airport security chiefs began a three-day meeting in Kuwait City Monday to coordinate measures to confront an increasing terror threat to the strategic oil-rich Gulf region.

"Amid an escalation in all forms and types of terror attacks in our region... our states must undertake many preventive plans and measures to... fight this dangerous phenomenon," Brigadier Anwar al-Yassin, the head of Kuwait's Installations Security Department, told the opening session.

The GCC groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Yassin told reporters officials would discuss a proposal to set up liaison offices at all Gulf airports with the aim of rapidly exchanging security information about potential threats and risks.

"Our main aim is to counter terrorism. We want to ensure the safety of passengers against terror attacks," said Colonel Ahmad al-Derbas, director of security at Kuwait International Airport.

Officials said the meeting would also focus on acquiring state-of-the-art equipment to better cope with developing means for terror strikes and on potential attacks on GCC airports, including hijackings.

GCC interior ministers in May signed a counter-terrorism pact which calls for boosting cooperation and coordination among security agencies and facilitating the exchange of intelligence information.

Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia has been battling a series of deadly terror attacks on its soil since May 2003 which have left about 90 people dead and hundreds wounded.