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In a meeting held between officials from the GCC Secretariat General and the EFTA Secretariat, the EFTA countries - Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - expressed their desire to develop a declaration of principles for cooperation between the GCC and EFTA. The GCC Ministerial Council (70th session, March 1999) agreed to initiate negotiations on the aforementioned declaration of principles. The GCC Ministerial Council approved the final draft of the Declaration at its 72nd session, September 1999.
On 23 May 2000, the GCC States and the EFTA countries signed the document of cooperation that provides for establishing a cooperation committee. The GCC Supreme Council approved that document at its 21st session, December 2000.
The Joint Cooperation Committee held two meetings wherein it examined the areas of cooperation set out in the Declaration of Principles and the means of implementation. In February 2006, experts from both sides held a meeting at the headquarters of the GCC Secretariat General, Riyadh, and discussed the mechanism for initiating FTA negotiations. The FTA negotiations commenced with a meeting of experts from both sides that was held in Geneva in June 2006. The two sides also held other rounds and technical meetings thereafter.
The two parties signed a Free Trade Agreement in in Hamar, Norway on 22nd June 2009.