GCC taking steps towards confederation

April 12, 2011

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are discussing setting up a Gulf confederation, a Kuwaiti daily said.

The Gulf confederation will have a unified foreign, defence and security policy, but each of the six countries will remain independent and sovereign, Al Seyassahdaily reported on Tuesday.

Turning into a confederation will help the Arab states confront challenges and threats from Iran to their security, sovereignty and independence, the paper said, quoting highly placed Gulf sources that it did not name.

Wide and expansive talks are being held between senior officials in the GCC countries in cooperation with the GCC secretariat general to reach the ideal formula for the Gulf confederation.

“The confederation is seen as a crucial development after the blatant Iranian interference in Bahrain’s domestic affairs and Tehran’s repeated attempts to undermine the security and stability of the Gulf states through mercenaries working for the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian intelligence services even though they have Arab nationalities,” the paper quoted the sources as saying.

Under the confederation plan, a single foreign affairs ministry will be in charge of the GCC relations with other countries and the six Gulf states will have only one common embassy in the other countries which in turn will have only one diplomatic mission in the Gulf.

The Gulf countries will also turn the existing Peninsula Shield, their military arm, into a fast intervention force with higher military and fighting capabilities to repel regional threats and confront plots to undermine stability in any of the six member countries.

“The competent agencies in the Gulf countries will also unify their combat training and will hold massive military manoeuvres involving land, sea and air forces annually,” the sources said.

However, the unprecedented moves towards the confederation need adequate legal and legislative work, according to the report. “The Gulf states will activate and reinvigorate their agreements and will sign new ones while speeding up the implementation of the accords on the customs unions and oil policies,” the sources said.




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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