Saudi Seeks to Head GCC Military Command
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering a proposal that would grant Saudi Arabia formal responsibility for leading regional defense operations, officials said.
Sources at the Gulf defense organization were quoted by the Middle East Newsline (MENL) as saying that “Riyadh has proposed to lead the six members of the Arab alliance in a unified military command. Saudi Arabia has argued that as the largest state and largest military in the council, Riyadh should be responsible for Gulf security.”
The GCC command is located in the Saudi city of Khafr El Baaten, in the eastern province adjacent to Kuwait.
Saudi Arabia has presented a series of proposals for the upgrade of the regional force, called the A-Jazeera shield. Over the last year, the GCC has been equipped with a modern communications and early warning system.
"Cooperation between these countries is growing by the day," Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz said. "But further enhancing cooperation among the GCC member states is important and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to present military proposals for the improvement and development of the A-Jazeera shield."
In an interview to the Kuwaiti-based Siyassa daily last week, Prince Sultan said Riyadh had proposed that one country lead a unified force that would protect GCC members. He said the proposal was one of several meant to bolster regional security.
Egypt has offered to take part in the GCC defense system, but so far its offer has been shelved – Albawaba.com