GCC Union would thwart regional security threats, says Bahraini PM

Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa (center) called for the need for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to soon form a Gulf Union. (Reuters)

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 interests and have similar social fabric and cultural features - get united?" he said in comments cited by the Bahrain-based Gulf Daily News.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia put forward at the GCC summit in Dec. 2011 a proposal to transition the GCC from its cooperation phase to the union phase, as envisioned at its founding.

Last December, member heads of state welcomed the proposal, and there is speculation that it could be agreed this year.

In the meeting, the Secretary General of the Gulf bloc announced that Gulf ministers agreed on the establishment of a unified military command.

Earlier this week, the Kuwaiti parliament speaker expressed his reticence on forming a union that brings together the countries that make up the GCC.

Ali al-Rashed explained in an interview with Al Arabiya that constitutional differences between Gulf countries and the uniqueness of each state’s domestic affairs makes it difficult to form a union.

As the GCC celebrates its anniversary during the month of May, Rashed suggested that a GCC union is “just a wish” that has been recommended every now and then.

There should be a “legislative convention” that is agreed upon by all Gulf countries in order to achieve a GCC union, he said.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:40 - GMT 06:40
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