GCC union ‘crucial to face challenges’: Bahrain PM

October 6, 2013
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A Gulf union remains the best option for the six member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to protect and reinforce their achievements, Bahrain’s prime minister has said.

According to Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the successes and potential of the Gulf has earned its countries praise and appreciation, but also attracted the attention of the greedy and intensified the hatred of the hatemonger.

Such dangers and risks call for cooperation between the Gulf countries to sustain and reinforce their success stories and achievements, Prince Khalifa said as he received the GCC ministers of transportation holding their annual meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama.

“Our interests lie in our unity and with every passing day, challenges increase,” the premier said. “There is a critical need to put into practice the initiative launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz] to move from the phase of alliance to the phase of union,” he said, quoted by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

King Abdullah in December 2011 told GCC fellow leaders that they needed to move the alliance set up in Abu Dhabi in 1981 to the phase of a union.

GCC members Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE welcomed the proposal, but some capitals requested some time to study it in depth.

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been enthusiastic about it and some of their citizens called for establishing a core union of the countries ready to form it while the other countries could join at their own pace, in a move similar to the European Union.

“Every common effort that stimulates Gulf cooperation should be supported by the government because today and in a world deeply impacted by international instability, integration is no longer an option, but a necessity,” Prince Khalifa said. “No single country can on its own confront the regional and international challenges to developments in the GCC region. We do need conjugated efforts,” he said.

         

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About the author

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

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