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Call to set up pan-Gulf organisation

Kuwait forum addresses Arab issues in relation to world

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 18:43 February 12, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: Qatar’s prime minister has called for establishing an organisation of the countries bordering the Arabian Gulf.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has problems with some of the Gulf states, but our issues can be settled through a constructive dialogue, the adoption of diplomacy and the reinforcement of mutual trust,” Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Al Thani said in Kuwait City where he attended an international forum.

The First International Conference of the Arab and International Relations Council was held on Monday under the theme “The Arabs and world: Future Perspective.”

The six Arab countries with coastlines on the Arabian Gulf are already under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a loose political, economic and social alliance set up in 1981 in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi.

The GCC that brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and holds regular biannual meetings has made history by being the only Arab alliance to withstand the pressure of time and other formidable challenges and continue to thrive amid talks that it could be turned into “a union within a single entity” as proposed by Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz in December 2011.

Some of its members have had deep political divergences with Iran on the eastern shore of the Gulf and Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have accused the regime in Tehran of “blatant interference” in their domestic affairs while the UAE has been pushing for a peaceful settlement of the issue of its three islands occupied by the Iranians.

However, the GCC have invariably insisted at international forums and during talks on the significance of positive and fruitful relations between all the countries that border the Arabian Gulf.

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