A Gulf union vies to usurp GCC
Visions for a Gulf union to replace the existing Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) are still under study, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said last night. He said all six member states had presented their ideas on the initiative by Saudi's King Abdulla bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - which were being revised to come up with the best option.
"The GCC's General-Secretariat has been tasked to study the presented visions and comment on them. There are several choices that will be looked into when the time comes," said Shaikh Khalid.
"The issue is not listed for discussion during the GCC Summit in Bahrain on December 24 and 25. The agreement in Riyadh between our leaders is that, whenever things are crystallised they should be discussed in an extraordinary session that has to be held in Riyadh.
"Arranging that summit wouldn't be a problem and the focus is now on coming up with something strong that could be discussed, approved and easily implemented in a way that everyone agrees with." He was speaking at a Press conference after the 125th Preparatory Session for the GCC Ministerial Council, which was held yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa.
Shaikh Khalid said the meeting focused on several areas of co-operation that member states had agreed and would be approved by leaders next month. "We have an uphill task ahead to improve joint GCC work - be it in the field of environment or human rights," he said. "But biggest efforts have to be exerted on our political issues - especially threats and dangers.
"The GCC has issued a statement during the session condemning the terrorist attacks in Bahrain. Our brothers join the international community in its stand against threats to security and stability.
"On Wednesday we (GCC Foreign Ministers) will meet the Russian Foreign Minister in Riyadh and there are many issues that we have to discuss with regard to improving the GCC and its relations."