The history of GCC summits held in Saudi Arabia

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Mecca will host three summits on May 30 and 31, two of which are emergency summits called by King Salman bin Abdulaziz in light of heightened tensions with Iran.

The emergency Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summits will be held on May 30, following recent drone strikes on oil installations in the Kingdom, and attacks on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

For the first time, the GCC summit is being held in Mecca. Although it has been held in other GCC countries, Saudi Arabia has held eight GCC summits in the past – all taking place in Riyadh, the Kingdom’s capital.

The GCC countries who take part in the summit are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar.

The first-ever GCC summit was held in Abu Dhabi in 1981, and aimed at enhancing cooperation and strengthening ties among the member states.

Summits held in Saudi Arabia

- The second GCC summit was held in Riyadh in 1981, where an economic agreement among the participating countries was made.

- In 1987, an inclusive security strategy was agreed upon and a plan for cultural growth was implemented in the eighth summit.

- The establishment of a higher committee of joint defense and military cooperation took place at the fourteenth summit in 1993.

- In 1999, a strategic contribution in the global economy through a single economic Gulf entity was in place in the twentieth GCC summit.

- The 27th summit endorsed four legal structures in 2006.

- In 2011, the Gulf development fund was established during the thirty-second GCC summit.

- Endorsement of King Salman’s vision to strengthen joint Gulf efforts took place during the thirty-sixth summit in 2015.

- Last year, the thirty-ninth GCC summit held in Riyadh saw the establishment of the Gulf academy for strategic and security studies.

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