Call for unity as GCC gears up for Kuwait summit
Unity is needed too deal with the region’s security and political challenges, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretary-general said ahead of this week’s annual summit.
Abdullatif Al-Zayani was speaking as GCC foreign ministers held a preparatory meeting on Monday for the 38th session of the Supreme Council of the GCC. The leaders will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Kuwait. The Saudi delegation is headed by Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.
In his opening speech, Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also stressed the importance of the GCC meetings to continue cooperation and joint action to serve the interests of the GCC people and to meet the challenges that threaten regional security and stability.
“The GCC is a continuous project in which the will of member states meets to build a unified Gulf body,” he said.
The Kuwaiti minister said he hoped that the summit would meet the aspirations and dreams of the people in the region and would continue the GCC’s move toward a bright future.
Founded in 1981, the GCC is a political and economic union grouping Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.
The Gulf states have approved a customs union, a common market, a single currency and a single central bank but most of these plans have yet to be fully implemented.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani would fly to Kuwait City for the meeting.
Bahrain in October openly called for Qatar’s membership of the GCC to be suspended until it accepted the demands made by the Anti-Terror Quartet — comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE.
Experts have voiced concerned that the Qatar crisis could lead to the demise of the GCC.
“The justifications for the existence of the GCC bloc amid the continued crisis are no longer present like before,”
Sami Al-Faraj, head of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies, told AFP.