Manama: Saudi Arabia has ratified the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) security treaty, endorsed by the GCC Supreme Council at its 33rd summit in Bahrain in December and promoted as crucial in boosting collective security among the six-member states.

The Saudi cabinet at its session on Monday said that it had taken into consideration the decision of the Shura (Consultative) Council to approve the treaty. Some of the major features of the pact that were mentioned in the official Saudi media communiqué included cooperation among the state parties to prosecute those who break the law or order and those wanted by the states parties, regardless of their nationality, as well as taking the necessary action against them.

According to the treaty, each state party takes legal action in what is considered a crime, according to its legislation in force, whenever its citizens or residents interfere in the internal affairs of any of the other states’ parties, the Saudi cabinet said. The treaty stipulated that each state party would “cooperate to provide the other parties — upon request — with information and personal data on citizens or residents of the requesting state, within the terms of reference of the ministries of the interior”.

The GCC, established in Abu Dhabi in 1981 by Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, endorsed at the Bahrain Summit an amended version of the Gulf security pact first announced at the Manama Summit in December 1994.

Bahrain’s Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa in January said that the “Gulf security cooperation is based on the premise that whatever affects one GCC country affects all the other member states”.

“The GCC countries share several features, including a common origin, a common culture, and common goals and interests based on deep-rooted historical binds,” he said. “It is such features that have empowered our countries to resist dangers threatening them or targeting their vital interests and social networks. The agreement aims to broaden cooperation, to unify and integrate security measures and to exchange expertise, potential and information in a manner that helps the concerned security agencies to assume their tasks according to the highest standards,” Shaikh Rashid said.