Cairo: The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been able through its annual summits to consolidate its member countries’ solidarity against all odds.
The following timeline looks at crucial decisions that the GCC leaders have taken in their past 10 gatherings:
2010 (Abu Dhabi, December 6): The summit urged Iran to respond to international efforts to defuse a crisis over its nuclear programme.
2011 (Riyadh, December 20): The GCC leaders welcomed a proposal by then Saudi king Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz for the grouping to shift from the phase of cooperation to the phase of union. They also agreed to endorse the GCC citizens’ national ID cards as an identification document in all the six member countries.
2012 (Manama, December 24): The GCC leaders agreed on proposed establishment of a joint military command tasked with coordination among and planning for the GCC nations’ ground, air and navy troops.
2013 (Kuwait City, December 10): The council’s leaders endorsed the creation of the unified GCC military command and tasked the Joint Defence Council to take the steps deemed necessary to activate the command.
2014 (Doha, December 9): The GCC leaders endorsed a recommendation by the council’s interior ministers to set up a Gulf police agency based in Abu Dhabi. The leaders also endorsed a GCC human rights declaration.
2015 (Riyadh, December 9): The summit saw an agreement on continued efforts to move from the phase of cooperation to that of union among the council’s member countries and adopting Saudi King Salman’s vision to strengthen integration among them.
2016 (Manama, December 6): The leaders discussed the Yemeni and Syrian crises as well as Iran’s meddling in affairs of the Gulf region. The British prime minister Theresa May attended the summit, becoming the first British premier to be present at such a gathering.
2017 (Kuwait City, December 5): The leaders emphasised the importance of keeping the legal, political and diplomatic status of Jerusalem unchanged. The move came as Washington recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing decades-long US policy on the status of the holy city. The leaders also discussed anti-terror efforts. The summit was overshadowed by the Qatar crisis.
2018 (Riyadh, December 9): The GCC leaders reiterated keeping the council to face regional challenges and pledged to remove all obstacles to the creation of the common Gulf market.
2019 (Riyadh, December 10): The final declaration of the summit stressed the importance of safeguarding maritime navigation in the Gulf against threats. The leaders also underlined moves to achieve economic unity among the GCC countries.