GCC Creates Joint Police And Naval Forces As Regional Threats Mount

The police force, which will be known as GCC-POL, and the naval force will help the Gulf states to counter risks posed by terrorist militant groups in the region.

The GCC will create a regional police force that is similar to Interpol and a joint naval force, the regional bloc members announced at the 35th GCC Summit on Tuesday.

The police force, which will be known as GCC-POL will be based in Abu Dhabi and the naval force, based in Bahrain, will help the Gulf states to counter risks posed by terrorist militant groups in the region, officials said. No further details were disclosed about the joint security forces.

Currently, the Gulf states have a GCC Peninsula Shield Force, an army comprising of forces pooled from the members to ensure security on the ground.

In his opening remarks at the summit, Qatar’s emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said that the “fight against terrorism” remained the group’s main priority.

“We have no choice but to face terrorism,” he was quoted as saying. “Terrorism prevention is better than trying to cure it after it expands.”

GCC leaders also reached a consensus on their position about Egypt’s government with Qatar pledging full support to the Arab state’s president Abdul Fateh Al Sisi.

Qatar’s emir Al Thani said in his opening speech at the summit that the recent experience has “taught us not to rush to convert disagreement in political viewpoints … into differences that would affect sectors such as economy, society, media and others”.

Qatar’s official declaration of support for Al Sisi has also thawed diplomatic tension among GCC states, which have been at odds with Doha over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their envoys from Qatar earlier this year due to the Gulf state’s open support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which the UAE and Saudi consider a terrorist organisation.

The three Gulf Arab states agreed to return their ambassadors last month after reconciliation talks and a promise by Qatar that it will stop providing Muslim Brotherhood a base to operate from.