Manama: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) could set up a unified police force to protect the member countries from organised crime and terrorism, the GCC secretary-general has said.

“The GCC countries are looking into a project to set up a Gulf police similar to Europol, the European police,” Abdul Lateef Al Zayani said. The law enforcement force would be part of GCC plans to bolster cooperation between the member states against threats, risks and crimes.

“There is the GCC Emergency Risk Management Centre in Kuwait to assess risks and threats to the Gulf countries, and there is the anti-drugs centre in Qatar to protect the youth from this devastating addiction. Another centre will monitor all forms and types of radiation,” he said at the Gulf Strategic Conference in Bahrain. “It is very important that GCC citizens feel the robust ties between them through the current and future GCC policies and the achievements that have been accomplished, including the common Gulf market and the economic citizenship that has allowed them to move, work, settle and own property in any of the GCC countries,” he said.

The GCC countries are well aware of the risks and threats that might undermine their stability and they believe that any attack on, or threat to, any of them is in fact to all of them, he said.

The GCC, set up in 1981, brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “The GCC countries have clearly and loudly called for shunning violence and avoiding bloodshed and the propagation of chaos and unrest. They still call upon the international community to remove the injustice that has befallen the Syrian people and to protect them from the terrifying killing machine used by the Syrian regime and its agents against unarmed civilians,” he said.