Gulf leaders pose for a picture at the fourth GCC summit in 1983. — KUNA photos
Gulf leaders pose for a picture at the fourth GCC summit in 1983. — KUNA photos

GCC celebrates 43rd anniversary

Bloc remains a model of sustainable strategic partnership

KUWAIT: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has a rich history of strategic cooperation, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Al-Yahya, as the bloc celebrated 43 years since its establishment on Saturday.

In a statement to KUNA on Saturday, the Kuwaiti top diplomat said the efforts and wise policy of Gulf states’ leaders played a great role in pushing forward and developing cooperation amongst their countries on all levels, achieving their goals for the good of their peoples.

The GCC also succeeded in enhancing its regional and international role, becoming a key partner in achieving international peace and stability, he noted. The council was also able to develop strong relations with regional countries and international economic groups, the minister pointed out. Yahya said the GCC believes in respecting every country’s sovereignty, supports joint work, and is committed to the articles of international law and UN principles and goals.

How it all began

The idea of establishing the Gulf Cooperation Council came at the initiative of the late Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the late President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The preparatory meetings of the foreign ministers of the six Gulf countries culminated in the holding of the Abu Dhabi Summit on May 25, 1981, which was attended by the leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Qatar, and the Sultanate of Oman.

During the meeting, the countries announced an integrated system which has since then brought them together to achieve mutual goals. During the past four decades, the GCC has seen major achievements in various fields — at the economic, political, military and security levels and left its mark in regional and international arenas.

Gulf leaders pose for a picture at the 42nd GCC summit in 2021.
Gulf leaders pose for a picture at the 42nd GCC summit in 2021.

A united front

Perhaps one of the most prominent achievements of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the field of foreign policy is participation in ending the Iran-Iraq war, liberating the State of Kuwait from the brutal Iraqi invasion, supporting the unity, stability and sovereignty of Iraq, supporting the cause of the three occupied UAE islands, achieving Gulf reconciliation and supporting the Palestinian cause.

In the field of joint military action, the first meeting of the chiefs of staff of the armed forces of the GCC States, held in the Saudi capital Riyadh in 1981, was the beginning of a discussion in areas of military cooperation among the GCC States, where many studies, regulations and strategies were approved through the course of four decades, which included many ways of joint military action.

At the level of security cooperation, the meeting of the GCC Ministers of the Interior in Riyadh in February 1982 marked the beginning of the launch of security coordination and cooperation among the GCC States, which was represented in a comprehensive security strategy and cooperation in the field of counterterrorism, civil defense and drug control.

In the field of economic cooperation, the statute for the establishment of the GCC represents the first reference towards achieving economic integration among the six Gulf states, starting with the unified economic agreement signed in 1981, to the economic agreement of 2001. The states have been holding discussion to unify their currency, establish the Gulf common market and promote economic nationality.

A sustainable partnership

Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr Abdullatif Al-Zayani praised the achievements the GCC, which has become an example of sustainable strategic partnership. Zayani praised the GCC’s firm commitment to security, stability, and achieving the aspirations of the peoples of brotherly member states by promoting full economic citizenship, advancing progress and prosperity, and constructive cooperation in laying the foundations of regional, international, and civilizational dialogue.

He stressed the Kingdom’s support to achieve the aspirations of the leaders of the GCC countries in promoting joint Gulf action, strengthening the defense and security systems, and following up on the implementation of joint development and economic projects.

The Bahraini foreign minister valued the successes of the GCC as an active and pivotal partner in consolidating security, stability, and peace at the regional and international levels and supporting sustainable development goals through its constructive strategic partnerships and dialogues with many countries and international groups. He praised the pioneering achievements of all its members in organizing Arab, regional, and international summits, conferences, activities, and competitions in various fields and their efforts in the fields of diplomatic mediation, conflict resolution, humanitarian aid, and peacekeeping. — KUNA

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