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BRIDGING THE GULF
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Gulf railways to bridge the Arabian Peninsula?

Sunday, 25 August 2013

In the past month, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced further developments in rail systems that will traverse major portions of the Arabian Peninsula. These projects will help to improve logistic chains, provide freedom of movement of goods and services, as well as promote greater economic unity between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states for the first time. In addition, the network is illustrative of the continuing cooperation of the GCC to promote greater unity within the context of ...

Dr. Theodore Karasik

Asia-GCC relations: Growing interdependence

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

The emergence of China and India as global powers may become inevitable and may have significant implications for the Gulf region and beyond. The U.S. National Intelligence Council in its latest report ‘Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,’ describes a world that will be radically transformed from what we know today. In a tectonic shift, by 2030, the reports says ‘Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined in terms of global power, based upon GDP, population ...

Dr. Naser al-Tamimi

Gulf countries: Geographic concerns, repercussions

Monday, 10 June 2013

Does the slogan “our Gulf is one” reflect the geopolitical facts of the Arab Gulf region? This question is mainly asked when talking about the Gulf Cooperation Council as a unified political entity. The importance of the question has increased amid the political uncertainty brought about by the Arab Spring. The Gulf does look unified when considering historical, cultural and social commonalities among its countries. One can even consider Yemen and some Iraqi areas as part of a ...

The GCC’s robust plans for border control

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Over the past few years, border control between and on the GCC periphery is becoming a major security issue. Historically, border demarcation between the GCC states were based on historical differences driven by sea, air and land requirements by tribes and, later, by possible oil deposits. Oman, to date, is the only GCC state that has solidified its borders with its neighbors. Bilateral agreements solved several border disputes, the most threatening problem within the GCC -- such as those ...

Dr. Theodore Karasik

GCC secretary-general ‘hopeful’ of wider Gulf Union

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is ‘hopeful’ that member countries will form a wider union, which could include a monetary pact and shared currency. Abdullatif al-Zayani, speaking at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, said the prospects of forming a Gulf Union were “very positive and favorable”. The GCC was established between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE in an agreement concluded on May 25, 1981. The idea of a wider Gulf ...

Bridging the Gulf: where Kuwait stands on the GCC Union

Sunday, 12 May 2013

In February of last year, Ahmed al-Saadoun, Kuwait’s speaker of the parliament at the time dismissed the idea of a Gulf Union. In an interview with Al-Arabiya, he stated that Kuwait, with its open political system, could not withstand a union with the more authoritarian Gulf states. However, since then Kuwait has undergone yet another chapter of political turmoil accompanied with harsh government reaction to public criticism of the state. Due to these developments, the government in ...

Why energy is the key to a better Gulf Union

Saturday, 11 May 2013

If one were to divine a birthday for the concept of the Gulf Union, perhaps it would be December 19, 2011. That date will likely be etched in the annals of history as it was when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia made a farsighted entreaty, a call to arms so to speak, to the assembled heads of the Gulf States gathered at the 32nd GCC Summit in Riyadh. In his televised speech to the various leaders, King Abdullah stated confidently, “I ask you today to move from a stage of cooperation to a ...

The Gulf Union: defense first

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

In 2011, when Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah announced the intention to create the Gulf Union, one facet of the initiative stood out immediately—that of defense. The idea of the Gulf Union is to unify many aspects of the GCC under a new mantle, across a number of fields from economics to social issues to defense. Defense of the GCC is a paramount concern in the current regional environment, especially considering Iran’s assertive behavior in the Arab states. The Peninsula ...

Dr. Theodore Karasik

A Gulf Union to bolster regional security?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Since 2011, member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have expressed interest full political and economic integration in a much-touted Gulf Union. As regional organisations are strengthening amidst an increasingly multipolar international order, the move is not illogical. But in the Middle East and North Africa, regional organisations – be they the GCC, the League of Arab States or the Organisation of the Islamic Conference – have suffered from a lack of vision and ...

Fatima Ayub

GCC Union would thwart regional security threats, says Bahraini PM

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The formation of a Gulf Union would thwart foreign and domestic threats and greater ensure security and stability for Gulf states, the Bahraini prime minister said on Tuesday. Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa called for the need for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to soon form a Gulf Union. "If unity among countries with some similarities have become a common approach in today's world, why don't GCC countries - which share history, geography and intertwined ...

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