Leaders Agreed to Further Study Plans for Union
The GCC leaders today failed in their attempt to form the much-publicized EU-type “Gulf Union” between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and possibly Qatar and Kuwait. At the end of their summit in Riyadh, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said the heads of states decided, however, to further study plans on how to organize the new entity.
“Leaders of the Gulf Co-operation Council have approved the call for a commission to continue studying in order to present final results,” Prince Saud told reporters in Riyadh. “The issue will take time. The aim is for all countries to join, not just two or three.” [BBC Arabic, 14 May].
The idea of forming a ‘Gulf Union’ was first proposed by the Saudi monarch last December. Yesterday, the Bahraini information minister told reporters that a union between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and possibly a third country (believed to be Qatar) would be announced during the summit. Arab media, quoting unnamed Saudi officials, also reported that Qatar and Kuwait were likely to join Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in announcing the union, with UAE and Oman joining in at a later stage. Today’s non-announcement was indeed a major failure by the Saudis to move the unity project along, as they must have hoped.