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Strengthening the GCC in today’s world

An Arab political bloc that includes Yemen would be geographically vast, with a large population and the third- or fourth-strongest economy in the world

Why is the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) delaying the announcement that it is transforming into a confederation that includes Yemen?

The larger political entities are, the easier it is for them to know what they need from the world. Likewise, the world also knows what those political entities want.

To put it simply, national interests are much clearer in large political entities.

On the other hand, small or weak political entities lack a clear vision, making it hard for the world to correctly comprehend them. And because the actions of these entities reflect their weakness, the world does not care for them or their needs, no matter how justified or important they are. Such practices are present in various parts of the world, particularly in the ‘Third World’.

Does this mean that the world is an unjust place, and that the weak have no legal protection that prevents anyone from attacking them?

To some extent, the answer is yes. Such practices do take place. Some of them are committed in secrecy, while some are done publicly.

Basically, if you are not influential in any vital sectors, no one will listen to your cries. And if the world were to hear your cries, they would not take your offers or demands too seriously. In best-case scenarios, you will be given lavish promises that will never be fulfilled, and will exhaust your ambitions and energy and leave you in an unenviable position.

This topic brings us back to an Arab political figure that focused on this topic during his talks and interviews, and that person is Mahmoud Riad, who served as Egyptian foreign minister in 1964 to 1972, during the Jamal Abdul Nasser era.

During an interview with Egypt’s Al Ahram newspaper, Riad said: “If you possess industrial power, the world will listen. If you possess a growing economic power, the world will readily understand your demands. If you have a powerful military, the world will be understanding and stand readily by your side.”

Regardless of whether one agrees or not with Riad’s statements, who was an expert on Arab and international politics during a key phase of Arab history, one cannot help but notice that the world will not readily listen to small or weak political entities, or a nation that lacks an advanced industrial system, growing economy or powerful military.

This is the message that Riad was trying to convey. During any form of negotiations with any world power, regardless of the nature of the issue or topic being discussed, you should introduce yourself, explain who you are, what you represent, and what is it that you possess and are superior in.

This is not something new, and one might ask if it is not, then why is such a topic being discussed in this article. This is a timely subject, especially in light of current developments. What is the GCC waiting for to shift from its current status into a more effective and advanced political structure, like a confederation that includes Yemen and can have more influence in the course of regional and international political events?

If one was to discuss a Gulf confederation that includes Yemen, then such a discussion would include very important and influential facts, such as ensuring the transformation of Yemen from its current limited political perspective into a broader one that is open towards many avenues.

We are talking about an area that includes seven oil-producing Arab countries; six GCC countries and Yemen. They occupy an area of 3,228,000 square kilometres with a population of 73 million and a gross national income of almost $1.74 trillion (Dh6.39 trillion).

Such an Arab political bloc would be geographically vast, with a large population and the third or fourth strongest economy in the world. This bloc would contain rich, diverse growing resources, most importantly oil and gas. Yemen’s contribution to the aforementioned income would be $64 billion, and it has a population of 25 million and occupies an area of 528,000 square kilometres. The question, once again, is why is there no quick action being taken regarding this crucial GCC, regional and international political dossier?

In conclusion, those interested in GCC-Yemeni affairs might wonder how Yemen can be included in such a bloc when it has not even been liberated yet. Moreover, the economic dossier on rebuilding Yemen has not yet been put into action, and the outcomes of the war to restore legitimacy and restore hope are not yet clear.

In short, to put such dossiers into action will make Yemenis understand the significance of what is currently happening in the country, and the outcomes of such events after the legitimate government regains full sovereignty over the entirety of Yemen.

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