Gulf in the News – 33rd GCC Summit Roundup

33rd GCC Summit concludes in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Source: Bahrain News Agency (Read full story)

The Supreme Council reviewed the reports and recommendations of follow up submitted from the Ministerial Council aimed to boost full GCC citizenship as part of GCC leaders’ keenness on boosting mutual cooperation.

The Supreme Council explored regional and international political issues and passed resolutions on mutual GCC action regarding article (3) of economic agreement for the purpose of boosting GCC citizenship in various spheres and deepening economic integration between GCC-member states and also discussed the economic situation in the GCC states and expressed delight at the remarkable growth and development in various sectors .

33rd GCC Summit issues Sakhir Declaration

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) holding their 33rd Supreme Council Session in Manama, Bahrain, on December 24 and 25, 2012, recalling the Riyadh Declaration issued on 25 Muharram 1433 AH, December 20, 2011, which included the adoption of the initiative Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to move from the stage of cooperation to one of union, transforming the Gulf Cooperation Council into a single entity that achieves righteous deeds and integration in response to the aspirations of the GCC citizens and to meet the challenges they face;

Bahrain FM, GCC Secretary General hold press conference

Source: Khaleej Times (Read full story)

According to Bahrain News Agency (BNA), Shaikh Khalid, who was speaking at a press conference, held jointly today with GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani after the concluding session of the GCC Summit which convened at Al Sakhir Palace, said what has been agreed on by the GCC Joint Defence Council is clear and stipulates the creation of the GCC United Military Command, in Bahrain, that consists of ‘the Peninsula Shield Forces as well as joint air and naval coordination.’

It is an entity that will bring all efforts together under one umbrella,’ he explained, pointing out that the Peninsula Shield will always remain there, being a main pillar in joint defence work.

Concerning the Gulf Union, he said a team comprising an elite of three from every GCC member state has been working on mapping out a structure for it and drawing up visions since Riyadh summit last year.

The GCC union was agreed in principle at the Manama summit, said journalists

Source: Bahrain News Agency (Read full story)

The leaders at the 33rd Supreme Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit, which concluded today, agreed on the unification of the member states of the GCC. “There is much anticipation on this move,” said a Senior Journalist at Al, Ahmed Al Suhaimi. The extraordinary summit at Riyadh will look into the details of this union, he added.

GCC to set up unified military command

Source: Gulf News (Read full story)

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states on Tuesday said that they would go ahead with setting up a unified general military command for their land, navy and air forces.

“The command will be in charge of coordination, planning and leadership of the designated and additional land, navy and air forces,” the GCC states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said in a communique at the end of their two-day summit in Manama.

The general command will be an umbrella for the existing GCC forces deployed in member states and will not supplant the Peninsula Shield, the military arm of the GCC, formed in 1984 and based in Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, told the media at a press conference.

GCC states slam Iran interference in region

Source: Al Jazeera (Read full story)

The six Gulf states have sharpened their tone against their neighbour Iran, demanding an immediate halt to its “interference” in their internal affairs while urging action to halt mass killings and violations of international law in Syria.

Concluding a two-day summit in Manama, the Gulf Cooperation Council members voiced support for Bahrain while lashing out at Tehran, which they accuse of fuelling a Shia-led uprising in the host country last year.

“The council expressed its rejection and condemnation of the continuing Iranian interference in the affairs of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s states and called on Iran to stop these policies,” a joint statement issued at the end of the summit said on Tuesday.