GCC Overcome Hurdles to Make Historic Acheivements

by shariff mohammed | Dec 10, 2015

Previous summits of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) resulted in a number of concrete and historic achievements in various interests and aspirations amid serious conflicts, terrorism and the current oil price crisis. These achievements include activation of the unified military command, creating a unified naval power and determining the functions and duties to protect the interests of the member states. One of the military cooperation results was the completion of studies and negotiations for secure network communications, and the continuing work on development and maintenance of a private cooperation system linking the leaders of air defense centers in GCC countries.

On joint security cooperation, the GCC has witnessed many achievements in the field of security cooperation, the most prominent of which is the continued GCC traffic week, modernization and development of pilot systems, and the adoption of a joint training plan for those working in the field of counterterrorism.
Another achievement was the creation of the Peninsula Shield joint forces in 1982 to protect the security of member states and deter any military aggression.

Recently, the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm received considerable support from GCC members which led the Kingdom to defeat the Houthi militia and foil Iran’s disruptive attempts in the region. Of the most important strategic and political goals of the group in foreign policy was the formulation of common and unified positions on political issues of interest in Arab, regional and international frameworks, dealing as one grouping with the world.

In the framework, the principles and foundations are based on mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs, common interests, safeguarding the interests of GCC countries and enhancing the security, stability and prosperity of their peoples.

The GCC made use of its political potential in its first summit in Abu Dhabi in 1981 toward finding a way to ending the Iraq-Iran war, a war that caused human and material losses to both sides, and destabilized regional security. In the Arab framework, the Gulf moved through the Committee of Seven, which was formed for the purpose of achieving a cease-fire. At the international level, it has contributed to the political efforts of GCC states in shedding light on the war, and finding a solution to it.

The GCC stressed the importance of reaching a peaceful solution to the Iran nuclear issue and urged Iran to continue engaging in international dialogue and full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and adhere to its international standards.

The group also stressed that Iran’s nuclear program not only threatens the security and stability of the region but the entire world. In this context, the council called on Iran to be fully transparent about the Iranian reactor, join the convention on nuclear safety and apply the highest standards of safety at its facilities.
On the Palestine issue, since the establishment of the GCC in 1981, its position toward the Palestinian cause and the peace process was clear in support of the rights of the Palestinian people, the rejection and condemnation of the policies and procedures of hostilities against them, and endeavoring in efforts to find a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

On the Syrian crises, the GCC supports the Geneva 1 Agreement of June 2012 and solutions that aim to form a transitional body with wider powers to maintain Syria’s sovereignty, independence and integrity of its national territory.

For the GCC, the declaration of the Assad regime to hold presidential elections and the nomination of Bashar Assad himself undermines Arab and international efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis peacefully. The council welcomed the results of the International Contact Group of Arab Foreign Ministers, on the Syrian crisis, which was held in Jeddah in 2014.

The council welcomed the outcome of the second donors’ conference for humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, which was hosted by Kuwait in 2014, as well as the results of the meeting of the Friends of Syria, which was held in Paris on January 13 of the same year. It also welcomed Security Council Resolution 2139 which called for the lifting of the blockade on all Syrian cities and stopping the attacks and raids on civilians, and facilitating the entry of humanitarian convoys.

On Yemen issue, the Gulf initiative and its mechanism has helped the immediate action to save Yemenis from sliding toward discord and chaos, and to achieve a peaceful and smooth transition of power through a transitional phase of two years. After obtaining the approval of the main parties in Yemen, it launched the initiative in the Security Council, which unanimously adopted Resolution 2140 on Yemen.

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