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Kuwait speaker endorses Gulf union idea
November 25, 2013, 4:00 pm

A Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) move from the stage of cooperation to the stage of integration has become a necessity required by security concerns, Kuwait’s parliament speaker has said.

“Such a move is a principal foundation to reinforce the capacities and capabilities of the GCC states and to assert their status globally,” Marzooq Al Ghanem, said in Kuwait City.

The GCC, founded in 1981 in Abu Dhabi, brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“The progress of the GCC over more than three decades has become a strategic depth for our security. It is the platform that we can use to launch our common action and endeavours to defend our interests and achieve our goals. We need to make sure that it is broad and robust and that it can last,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Rai on Monday.

The speaker said that the GCC countries had been able to contain the instability that had hit the Arab region and the global economic crisis thanks to their coordination, joint endeavours and common stances.

“I call for the formation of a committee of experts that will invigorate and improve our common action. Its recommendations will be referred to the parliaments in the region,” Al Ghanem said.

Talk about the need for a Gulf union is gaining a new dimension amid reports that the region would undergo fundamental changes following the interim accord reached by the P5+1 powers and Iran over its nuclear programme.

Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in December 2011 called for the six GCC states to move from the phase of alliance to the phase of union within a single entity.

The proposal was unanimously accepted, but while some countries showed pronounced enthusiasm for the union, others said they needed some time to look at the details, prompting calls to start the union with a core of two or three or four countries that allows the other countries to join at their own pace. The argument is that the Gulf integration could be modelled after the example of the three countries of the Benelux — Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.


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