34th ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’ Summit

The 34th Summit of ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’- an alliance of six Middle Eastern countries namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman – has concluded in Kuwait with following resolutions.

34th Gulf Cooperation Council summit , GCC

Resolutions:

  • The group agreed to form a unified GCC military command and a unified police force.
  • The organization welcomed Iran’s positive and conciliatory approach towards itself.
  • It Criticised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and urged foreign militias to quit the country.
  • Gulf Cooperation Academy for Strategic and Security Studies is to be set up with headquarters in UAE.
  • A proposal to establish a GCC railway project set to be operational by 2018.

What is GCC?

  • The GCC is a grouping of six gulf countries bordering the Persian Gulf with common political and cultural identities rooted in Islamic beliefs.
  • Its main purpose is to ensure security and development of the region by increasing political and economic integration.
  • It was established in Abu Dhabi on 25 May 1981

Achievements so far:

  • A GCC common market was launched on 1 January 2008.
  • It grants national treatment to all firms from countries and citizens thus removing all barriers to cross country investment and services trade.
  • A customs union was declared in 2003
  • It created 5,000-strong ‘Peninsula Shield force’, a joint military venture based in Saudi Arabia, which now has expanded to more than 30,000 troops
  • An intelligence-sharing pact was inked in 2004.
  • Proposal to launch a common currency (tentatively named Khaleeji) between four of them namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as Oman and the UAE have withdrawn.

Fall-out:

  • Oman is miffed over Saudi proposal to upgrade the GCC into a union and has threatened to withdraw from it.

More:

  • These six countries own almost 40 percent of proven global crude reserves and about 25 percent of natural gas deposits.
  • Secretary-General: Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Bahrain
  • Proposed Members: Yemen, Jordan and Morocco
  • 1st GCC Summit: 1981 (Abu Dhabi)
  • Next Summit (35th): Doha (Qatar) in 2014

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