Manama: A senior Kuwaiti official has ruled out any country joining the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

"The door to joining the GCC is permanently shut and there will be no full or gradual joining," Khalid Al Jarallah, the foreign ministry undersecretary, said, quoted by the local daily Al Siyassah on Friday.

"There will be only distinctive strategic partnerships with some countries," he said. Earlier this week, Humood Al Radhwan, head of the GCC directorate in Kuwait's foreign ministry, said that Egypt was on the list of countries that could join the six-member alliance and that it had the priority.

Egypt would join Morocco and Jordan, the only other monarchies in the Arab world, in the bid to be part of the alliance founded in 1981 and grouping Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

However, Sa'ad Al Ammar, GCC Assistant-Secretary for Political Affairs, said that the issue of Egypt joining the GCC "has never been discussed in the Council."

Earlier this month, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Foreign Minister, said that although the GCC member states welcomed more robust ties with Morocco and Jordan, "there is no consensus about the two countries joining the GCC with full membership."

In September, the GCC foreign ministers recommended a five-year development plan for Jordan and Morocco to be discussed by the GCC leaders in their summit in Riyadh.