Important Implications of Decision at Gulf Summit

  • 6 December 2007

The satisfaction expressed by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (May Allah protect him), over the outcome of the 28th Gulf summit, which ended its meetings in Doha, is a reflection of the results and decisions taken at the summit at various levels.

In this context, two aspects are worth mentioning: The first relates to economic initiatives confirmed at the summit, particularly the declaration of the launch of the Gulf Common Market from January 2008. It means that citizens of Gulf countries will enjoy the rights of citizenship in the economic sphere in all member states. Again, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) confirmed that members of the council had agreed to launch the Gulf common currency by 2010, and that they would continue making the necessary efforts toward meeting the requirements for establishing the monetary union. This represents another step toward Gulf economic integration, which is in tune with the features of other regional blocs in the world, like the European Union that began as an economic bloc and eventually achieved unity based on a strong foundation.

The second aspect relates to the reiteration by the Gulf summit of the positions taken by Gulf countries on different issues. In this context, it is important to note that the communiqué of the Doha summit stressed the sovereignty of the UAE over its three occupied islands (Abu Moussa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb). It also regretted that Iran has not responded positively to the calls for a peaceful settlement of the issue, which the UAE has been calling for over the past few years. In addition, the communiqué reiterated the GCC’s fundamental positions on other issues—such as the Palestinian cause, the Lebanese crises, the Iraqi situation, etc. Undoubtedly, the firm reiteration of these fundamental positions has been a source of strength for the GCC since its foundation, as it has always expressed support for its strong principles, irrespective of the prevailing tensions or existing challenges.

Despite the importance of the Doha summit and all of its decisions, the most prominent achievement of this convention has been the announcement of the establishment of the Gulf Common Market. The challenge, however, would be to make this market successful in achieving its goals. This would entail perseverance so that the common Gulf enterprise is able to achieve growth exponentially.