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The GCC Ministerial Council (89th session, December 2003) decided to authorize the General Coordinator for Negotiations to make contacts with the MERCOSUR countries with a view to launching an economic dialogue with the group and developing a mechanism for this dialogue through a framework agreement on economic cooperation. The Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation between the GCC States and the MERCOSUR group was signed at Brasilia on 10 May 2005, on the sidelines of the meetings of the Arab-South American Summit.

Negotiations to conclude an agreement establishing a free trade zone between the GCC and the MERCOSUR began at a meeting between experts from both sides held at the headquarters of the Secretariat on 9-10 October 2006. Other meetings were held and some of the issues concerning the FTA were accomplished.