Bahrain hails GCC security pact as bulwark

January 22, 2013

Bahrain’s interior minister said that Bahrain was able to ward off threats to the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as a whole thanks to support from its member countries.

“Gulf security cooperation is based on the premise that whatever affects one GCC country affects all the other member states,” Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said. “The GCC countries share several features, including a common origin, a common culture, and common goals and interests based on deep-rooted historical binds. It is such features that have empowered them to resist dangers threatening them or targeting their vital interests and social networks,” the minister said in remarks published by local daily Al Ayam on Tuesday.

The GCC, established in Abu Dhabi in 1981, groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The six member countries said last month at the Bahrain Summit that they endorsed an amended version of a Gulf security pact first announced at the Bahrain Summit in December 1994.

“The agreement aims to broaden cooperation, to unify and integrate security measures and to exchange expertise, potential and information in a manner that helps the concerned security agencies to assume their tasks according to the highest standards,” Al Khalifa said.

In his remarks, the minister warned against foreign interference in Bahrain’s domestic issues that risked fuelling tensions and exacerbating fanaticism. “These interferences empower some sides to the point of stalling steps towards a national consensus based on higher national interests,” he said. “Such matters do not serve strategic partnerships and mutual interests between states. The negative effects of such interferences are terrible both locally and internationally,” he said.

Bahraini officials have often said that “biased and blatant” foreign interference by states or by organisations fuelled tension in their country and hampered a national consensus to overcome the crisis.

On December 7, Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said that the international community should assume a more constructive approach to help heal the wounds in Bahrain. “We have our work cut out for us, but the international community must play its part,” Shaikh Salman said in a keynote speech at the Manama Dialogue.

“Wishing for peace never works, but peace-making does. I call on our friends in the West to engage like the United Kingdom has done — engage all stakeholders, train all groups, work with us to make our environment and our capacity greater and stronger. Stop exclusively scrutinising government actions alone. There is a moral responsibility on all sides to work to bring the Bahraini body politic together. We must heal these wounds. We must stop the violence. We must reduce the fear and we must stop the bigotry. I call on you unequivocally to condemn violence if ever it occurs. We will continue to do our part, but you will help us all if you do yours,” he 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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