A high-profile panel studying the creation of the Gulf Union by the six GCC countries began its first ever meeting on Tuesday in Riyadh, the official Qatar News Agency reported on Wednesday. The GCC Commission, which has three nominated representatives from each member state, will discuss the initiative over three days.
“Despite great strides since its inception, the GCC’s integration is still a work in progress,” the QNA report quoted GCC Secretary General Abdullateef al-Zayani as saying.
“The Gulf states have forged closer political ties, military cooperation and security ties,” he said. “We are proceeding to a higher degree of harmonization in several areas,” he added.
The formation of the GCC union will lead to full-fledged economic integration, political unification and will eventually create a “single entity” capable of handling all strategic issues, Al Zayani said. With this meeting, the GCC has taken the first step to “transform into a stronger union,” he added.
The idea of creating a Gulf Union was suggested by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia during the GCC Summit in December last year. The union would help tackle “the challenges that threaten our nations, security and stability,” he said at the time.
After its current meet, the GCC Commission will prepare a preliminary report that will be sent to the foreign ministers for review during their meeting in March this year, QNA said.