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Rice, Gulf State Foreign Ministers Meet in Abu Dhabi

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has met with foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss a range of issues in the Middle East.

In a joint statement issued late Thursday in the United Arab Emirates, the parties said their discussions included nuclear proliferation in the area. They reaffirmed the necessity to keep the Gulf region free of weapons of mass destruction.

Regarding Iraq, the statement emphasized the need for a broad-based and inclusive Iraqi government to guarantee the nation's stability.

Secretary Rice and the Gulf states foreign ministers also urged Israel and the Palestinians to implement the so-called "road map" to Mideast peace.

She had stopped overnight in Abu Dhabi on the final leg of her Middle East tour, which had taken her to Cairo, Riyadh and Beirut.

The Gulf Cooperation Council promotes stability and economic cooperation among Persian Gulf nations. It includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.