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The disjointed Gulf Cooperation Council

December 12, 2013 - 4:49:30 am

The Saudi foreign minister urged the GCC member states to be “one hand against the risks in the region”. The Omani foreign minister replied, saying: “We are against the union, and we will not prevent it, but if it happens, we will not be part of it.”

This one incident shows the status of the GCC after three decades of its establishment, as it finished preparations for the annual summit, which ended in Kuwait on Tuesday.

The aforementioned encounter indicates a schism and a clear contrast in visions and opinions among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It also shows that the council can do nothing but react to events, particularly when we take into consideration its history and how it was established in reaction to the Islamic revolution in Iran and the fear of Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution being exported to them and other Arab countries.

The GCC has remained the same for three decades despite its attempts to change. Now it is high time for the foreign minister of one of its member countries – the Omani foreign minister – to declare that his country is not interested in the union and Oman will not contribute to creating it, preventing it, or be a part of it. 

This announcement reveals the divisions in the council, although it appears unified. What is the point of the GCC if it cannot achieve greater unity or formulate common foreign and economic policies?

The GCC was established in 1981 to prevent the export of the principles of the Iranian revolution. It is better to consolidate the council now to fulfil the same goal. The situation on the ground might be different, but it is still about the same thing. 

Iran is at centrestage once again. The difference, though, is that Western countries care only about their interests. They have joined hands with Iran against the countries of the Gulf. So what have the GCC leaders decided in their summit at a time when the danger has increased?

 

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