Will citizens of GCC states support a Gulf Union?

 23 May 2013 - 2:54

Al Hayat newspaper reported a few days ago that three Gulf countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, had showed from the beginning their readiness to realise the Gulf Union, but there was one country (possibly the United Arab Emirates) that had not decided to join the union yet.

Some sources have hinted at a change in Kuwait’s stance and its readiness to join the federation.

The newspaper added that Qatar supported the idea of forming the federation, and Bahrain was more enthusiastic about the idea, while Oman had refused to join it as Muscat believes priority should be given to implementation of all measures for cooperation within the GCC states before moving towards unification. 

Press reports are the only source of information on this matter as governments are mostly silent on the issue, which involves sensitive subjects such as nuclear cooperation agreements. It is not just a study of an idea to form a Gulf federation that will ensure integrated foreign, defence and security policies while each member country maintains its independence and sovereignty, with the aim of countering Iranian ambitions in this region and facing threats.

Kuwaiti newspaper Asyassah has also dwelt on this issue, saying that proposals under discussion include establishment of a ministry for foreign affairs that deals with the foreign relations of member countries, and having common embassies to represent GCC states abroad. 

The proposals also include a common passport for citizens of member countries, and a plan to convert the Peninsula Shield Force into a rapid intervention force after improvement in its weapons and fighting capabilities.

I wonder if the idea of creating this federation is put to a referendum, will the GCC citizens vote for or against it. Is a referendum a far-fetched idea? 

Mohamed Al Rumaihi, a professor of political sociology at Kuwait University, has said that a Gulf union will change the rules of international politics in the region and reduce British and American power and influence here. Such a union will be able to protect the region’s oil wealth and bring about changes in the Arab world, which is badly in need of a unified authority to lead it in regional and international affairs. What is required is real unity, not just words in the media, and restructuring of political and economic institutions, and removal of misunderstandings among the GCC countries.

 

Al Hayat newspaper reported a few days ago that three Gulf countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, had showed from the beginning their readiness to realise the Gulf Union, but there was one country (possibly the United Arab Emirates) that had not decided to join the union yet.

Some sources have hinted at a change in Kuwait’s stance and its readiness to join the federation.

The newspaper added that Qatar supported the idea of forming the federation, and Bahrain was more enthusiastic about the idea, while Oman had refused to join it as Muscat believes priority should be given to implementation of all measures for cooperation within the GCC states before moving towards unification. 

Press reports are the only source of information on this matter as governments are mostly silent on the issue, which involves sensitive subjects such as nuclear cooperation agreements. It is not just a study of an idea to form a Gulf federation that will ensure integrated foreign, defence and security policies while each member country maintains its independence and sovereignty, with the aim of countering Iranian ambitions in this region and facing threats.

Kuwaiti newspaper Asyassah has also dwelt on this issue, saying that proposals under discussion include establishment of a ministry for foreign affairs that deals with the foreign relations of member countries, and having common embassies to represent GCC states abroad. 

The proposals also include a common passport for citizens of member countries, and a plan to convert the Peninsula Shield Force into a rapid intervention force after improvement in its weapons and fighting capabilities.

I wonder if the idea of creating this federation is put to a referendum, will the GCC citizens vote for or against it. Is a referendum a far-fetched idea? 

Mohamed Al Rumaihi, a professor of political sociology at Kuwait University, has said that a Gulf union will change the rules of international politics in the region and reduce British and American power and influence here. Such a union will be able to protect the region’s oil wealth and bring about changes in the Arab world, which is badly in need of a unified authority to lead it in regional and international affairs. What is required is real unity, not just words in the media, and restructuring of political and economic institutions, and removal of misunderstandings among the GCC countries.