Bahrain minister calls for movement to support Gulf union proposal

March 18, 2013

Bahrain’s foreign minister has called for a structured popular movement to support the Saudi king’s proposal to promote the alliance between the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) into a union.

“The proposal by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to turn into a union is an endorsement of the most significant demand by the Gulf people,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa posted on his Twitter account. “What is requested now is an organised popular response to support this grand unionist project.”

Hosting the annual GCC summit, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in December 2011 called for “moving the GCC from the phase of cooperation to the phase of union within a single entity”. His proposal was supported by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE, the other member states of the alliance formed in 1981 in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

Manama and Riyadh were particularly enthusiastic about the proposal, but some other capitals said that more time was needed to look into the finer details. Union supporters said that delays in its implementation would intensify the increasingly ominous challenges that the Gulf countries were facing and said that at least a core union between two or three countries should be initiated and that the other members could join at their own pace.

Shaikh Khalid in his posts stressed the time factor. “Conditions change at an accelerated speed and everybody, both governments and people, should assume the responsibility of achieving the robust union. This is a huge responsibility,” he posted.

The minister, regularly recognised as one of the most avid users of Twitter within the international community of diplomats and government officials, has 132,960 followers and has posted 10,418 tweets.

Shaikh Khalid, 53 next month, introduces himself as “Diplomat, Ambassador, Foreign Minister of Bahrain, Reader, World traveller and Bon Vivant.”



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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