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GCC proposes joint naval force
October 16, 2014, 8:23 am

Navy to combat terrorism, illegal operations, offer protection

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are looking into establishing a joint naval force capable of defending the security of the region, a Kuwaiti official has said.

Major General Ahmad Al Mulla, adviser at the Ministry of Defence, said the new strategy is aimed at formulating a marine corps carrying on the responsibility of protecting Gulf waters from threats, a concept similar to the GCC Peninsula Shield Force but for marine security purposes.

Maj Gen Al Mulla told the Kuwait News Agency (Kuna) that he hoped that the idea would materialise soon, adding that the proposed marine force would coordinate with other international fleets to combat terrorism and illegal operations.

The joint GCC force would also handle the protection of commercial routes and the Gulf nation’s economic interests, the Kuwaiti official said on the sideline of the Qatar Maritime Security Coastal and Border Surveillance Conference (QMARSEC), held in Doha.

The conference is focusing on coordinating efforts between Nato, the US and GCC marine fleets.

It is also scheduled to discuss the most prominent threats to maritime security, the legal framework to confront them, combating software piracy, the role of information technology in supporting operations, trends and new solutions in the field of marine insurance.

The GCC, founded in 1981, is a loose alliance that brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Peninsula Shield, the military arm of the GCC, was set up to deter, and respond to, military aggression against any of the GCC member countries.

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