Abu Dhabi: Former US Senator Gary Hart wants the Arabian Gulf to be put under international control to ensure the free flow of oil in the region.
Addressing a conference organised by Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research yesterday, Hart said the Gulf is too sensitive and strategic in a global sense to be left to individual nations.
"Much of the world's oil supplies [20 per cent] flow out through the Gulf. We need to think outside the box: Should we have a 'UN2' or a new international force we haven't even thought about yet to go in and make peace? I don't want the US to fight a Gulf War Three, Four, or Five. So what's the solution?" he asked.
Hart continued: "Put it [the Gulf] under an international mandate to ensure the flow [of oil] - Politics is evolving downwards around us. I don't want my [US] army to be mercenaries." The former senator said a "multilateral organisation" would push the US to the background.
Conference delegates disagreed with Hart, arguing it was counterproductive. Dr. Mohammad Al Douri, the former permanent Iraqi representative to the UN, said: "It is not feasible. A replacement by a GCC group would be ideal (but) the US will not permit that."
UAE delegate Saeed Saif Al Ka'abi said: "This is an unwelcome idea. From my point of view, this interference will control us as much as the US pressure. We'll be safe if we use our own minds instead."
"We're already under US pressure through the UN. Any Security Council resolution will no doubt be largely affected by the US," said Hussam Al Deen Jaber, secretary of Strategic Journal, a regional think-tank.