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‘Full GCC union will happen in next generation’
December 11, 2013, 9:40 am

The GCC union would be a preliminary step that could ultimately lead to a full unification of Gulf states in the next generation, Abdul Aziz Al Uwaisheq, Assistant Secretary General of the GCC, said on Monday.

He was speaking to Al Arabiya news channel ahead of the annual summit of GCC leaders in Kuwait that started on Tuesday. The comments followed the Omani foreign minister Yousuf Bin Alawi’s announcement on Saturday that his country opposes the establishment of a confederation of Gulf states, warning that it would “simply withdraw” from the new body if it materialised. Bin Alawi has also previously said that a decision for a union should be left to future generations.

“The GCC’s charter stipulates that the objective in the GCC is to achieve unity in all aspects. The union would be a preliminary step that would precede ultimate unification that could take place in the next generation,” Al Uwaisheq told Al Arabiya.

He later explained on Twitter in response to questions that current discussions are about a “union [as] a loser concept, as it preserves complete sovereignty and keeps decisions in member states’ hands”.

On the status of the union discussions, he said that an 18 member commission consisting of 3 officials from each member state, including two former secretary generals, and current and former ministers, that was established to study the viability of the union, submitted a report for consultations to member states last year.

The report, he said, includes “a blueprint for the union’s objectives, its key institutions and mechanisms”. Once consultations are completed, the Ministerial Council and Commission Chair will make a recommendation to heads of state, following which an agreement is expected to be reached, and a union announced “in a special summit to be held in Riyadh,” he said.

“While the subject has been under active discussion between member states and in high level meetings, no decision has been made yet,” he added.


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