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Gulf nations slam US report on trafficking

world Updated: Jun 11, 2008 12:40 IST

The six Gulf nations have criticised the US over a State Department report which castigated a majority of them for not doing enough to combat human trafficking.

The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states also called on the US to "revise its unfriendly policy towards GCC countries," according to a statement issued after their meeting in Riyadh late on Monday, Gulf News reported.

In a report last week, the US State Department kept Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia on a blacklist of countries it claimed "traffic in people," while it applauded progress made by the UAE and Bahrain.

It said the four states admit people from Asian and African countries to work as domestic servants or low-skilled labourers. Many subsequently "face conditions of involuntary servitude" while some are "forced into prostitution."

The GCC "deeply regrets the wrong information on the Gulf states contained in a US State Department report for 2008 on human trafficking," the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the six ministers as saying in the statement.

"[The report] aims to exert unjustified pressure for political ends," the statement added.