Strong Impetus to Joint GCC Work

  • 17 December 2009

Undoubtedly, the resolutions reached at the 30th Gulf Summit in Kuwait, which concluded day before yesterday, gave a strong impetus to joint Gulf action at the political, economic and security levels. There were four main issues before this summit: the first was the confirmation of the concept of joint Gulf security, which stressed full solidarity with Saudi Arabia over the attacks on its territory by Houthis and considered any position or bias against the Kingdom as a position or bias against the security of all Gulf countries. This stand translates a strong Gulf conviction that the security of the GCC countries is bound by its geographic, social, economic and political factors, and that any threat to the security of any country would entail a strong impetus for confronting the challenges.

The other significant resolution at the summit was the adherence to common constants in Gulf action, prominent being the support for the sovereignty of the UAE over the three occupied islands, (Abu Musa, Tunb Al-Kubra and Tunb Al-Sughra), and over its regional waters, airspace and continental shelf as well as the exclusive economic zone of the three islands as integral to the country’s territories. The final communiqué of the summit also condemned Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian Territories, and called upon Israel to lift the blockade on Palestinian people, stop colony-building activities, pull down the wall of separation, follow a just and comprehensive peace with the withdrawal of its forces from Arab territories it occupied in 1967. The GCC communiqué also condemned terrorism, and expressed support for the stability of Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan and Somalia. Third, it sought to deepen relations among the peoples of the GCC by establishing strong mutual interests and by promoting contiguity across the borders and by promoting the concept of Gulf citizenship.

This represents a strong framework for communication, correlation and cooperation. Perhaps, the most prominent development in this regard is the opening of an electrical grid among GCC countries, and the commissioning of a transportation committee of the Council to intensify efforts for a GCC railway project as soon as possible. Fourth, there have been positive interactions over strategies for confronting common challenges; within which the statement by GCC Secretary-General, Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al-Attiya, hold special importance. He has declared that the leaders of the Gulf States have decided to establish a common “rapid intervention force,” whose task is to “deter any aggression against any state of the GCC countries.” Undoubtedly, the establishment of such a force confirms the sound understanding of the various dangers confronting GCC countries and the concomitant risks and challenges they pose that could undermine the stability and security of the region, which underscores the need to prepare and respond through collective and active framework.