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.
- 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named Khaleeji) between four of them namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as Oman and the UAE have withdrawn.
- Oman is miffed over Saudi proposal to upgrade the GCC into a union and has threatened to withdraw from it.
- 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