GCC Assistant Secretary General for Cultural and Media Affairs Khaled Al-Ghassani stressed the importance of boosting joint cooperation and coordination among the news agencies of the six Arab Gulf countries especially in view of the rapid changes on the political scene in the region. Al-Ghassani, who is also Director General of the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), made this remark in his speech at the opening of the 17th meeting of chiefs of the GCC news Agencies, currently being held in Kuwait. He said that the meeting follows up on what have been achieved in previous meetings and provides an opportunity to exchange expertise and information to improve the level of the agencies\' performances. Meanwhile, Director of Bahrain News Agency Mohammad Suleiman said at the meeting that there is a mutual interest to grow and cooperate and come up with projects that serve the GCC media performance. News agencies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are complementing each other to ultimately contribute to development in addition to their daily reporting duties, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) chief said Tuesday. Sheikh Mubarak Duaij Al-Sabah, KUNA\'s Chairman of the Board and Director General, said the Gulf news agencies \"have proven their credibility which stemmed from our independence in reporting from different sources, bolstering the professionalism and objectivity of our national workforce, as well as developing their capabilities.\" The KUNA chief was speaking at the inauguration of the 17th meeting of heads of news agencies in the six GCC countries - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). \"We have realized, as news agencies, the importance of solidarity ... which will boost the role that media play in development and the need to promote media standards, which is our core responsibility,\" said Sheikh Mubarak. The KUNA chief said coordination among the Gulf news agencies was important in international conferences and fora with the objective of confronting lobbying groups vis-a-vis Gulf, Arab, and Islamic causes. KUNA, he said, believed in the importance of unity among the GCC countries \"because they share social, economic, political, and media objectives.\" He said today\'s meeting was held amidst \"exceptional regional circumstances which compel us to be everywhere to cover the events in a professional and transparent manner\" that meets expectations of our audience. Sheikh Mubarak noted that the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) would be hosting the world congress of news agencies which would be attended by delegates from some 125 news agencies. The congress will discuss how to develop the work in news agencies, and how to report events using modern technology and social media networks, he noted. Sheikh Mubarak also highlighted the role of the GCC Secretariat in removing all obstacles facing the GCC news agencies. The 17th meeting is attended by GCC Assistant Secretary General for Cultural and Media Affairs Khaled Al-Ghassani, SPA chief Abdullah Al-Hussein, Director General of Bahrain News Agency (BNA) Muhannad Suleiman, Qatar News Agency (QNA) Director General Ahmad Al-Buainain, Acting Director General of the Oman News Agency Dr. Mohammad Al-Oraimi, and UAE News Agency (WAM) Director General Ibrahim Al-Abed. On his part, Qatar\'s chief News Agency Ahmed Saad Al-Bhuainain, lauded the efforts made by the GCC agencies to boost and enhance the performance through joint cooperation. He hoped that this meeting will come out with fruitful results that unify the policies of the GCC agencies. Oman\'s News Agency Director General Mohammad Al-Oraimmi expressed similar wishes as his Qatari counterpart where he hoped the meeting would result in constructive and productive goals to meet. He hoped to see more cooperation in the exchange of technical and news reporting expertise as well as encouraging the exchange of news, photos and training courses. UAE Director General of the Emirates News Agency Ibrahim Al-Abed highlighted in his speech that this meeting is a great opportunity to follow up on decisions made in previous meetings and put them into actions to elevate the performance of the GCC news agencies to meet higher standards in news reporting as their fellow international peers.