New GCC secretary general pledges cooperation with all

December 9, 2010

Abdul Latif Al Zayani, the new secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, has pledged to build on the achievements of his predecessor to foster a greater integration of the alliance.

In a statement following the endorsement of his designation by the six members of the Gulf bloc, Al Zayani said that he was grateful for the trust and looked forward to working together with all parties to reinforce the status of the GCC.

“I pledge before God that I will be honest and truthful to Their Majesties and Highnesses and that I will implement their orders with full dedication and sincerity,” he said in the statement, carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

Al Zayani, the first Bahraini to hold the position since the alliance was formed in 1981, will assume his responsibilities on April 1 and will succeed Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah, a Qatari national.

King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa named him after a long and mostly silent dispute between Bahrain and Qatar over the earlier nomination of Bahraini Mohammad Al Mutawa and which had threatened to mar their relations and undermine the six-member GCC alliance. It took a direct mediation from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to resolve the issue.

The nomination of Al Mutawa, a former information minister and currently a state minister, was announced officially in June 2009 and was publicly endorsed by Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

However, Qatar objected to the name on the grounds of Al Mutawa’s statements and positions during a bitter border dispute between Doha and Manama that was eventually settled by the International Court of Justice in March 2001.

The GCC summit in Kuwait in December 2009 failed to reach an agreement on the name of the secretary general with both Manama and Doha holding on to their stances. The two countries could not agree either on May 11 when the GCC leaders convened for their annual advisory summit in Riyadh.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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