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Arab Monarchs Respond to Spreading Revolutions, Jordan, Morocco to join GCC

May 11, 2011

Editor's Note:

Arab monarchs have responded to the spreading Arab revolutions by getting together in an alliance to protect their regimes against their populations. The alliance intervened to save the Bahraini monarchy by sending GCC troops. Today, the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco have been approached by the GCC monarchies to join the alliance.

Morocco and Jordan are among the poor Arab states which will benefit financially and economically by joining the GCC alliance. In return, they will be asked to contribute troops in support of the GCC against revolting populations or against intervention from Iran.

Jordan, Morocco to join GCC

(Staff Reporter) 11 May 2011, 10:50 AM DUBAI -

Just 15 days ahead of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s historic 30th anniversary celebrations, the six-nation regional grouping on Tuesday welcomed membership bids by the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco.

“Leaders of the GCC welcomed the request of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to join the council and instructed the foreign minister to enter into negotiations to complete the procedures,” GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al Zayani said in Riyadh. He said the same procedure would be followed with Morocco.

Al Zayani was speaking after the 13th Consultative Summit of the leader of the GCC, which groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The Arabian Peninsula republic of Yemen has limited observer status in the grouping.

The leaders met to discuss, among other things, their tense relations with Iran, a stalled transition plan in Yemen and the popular uprisings shaking the Arab world, an official said.

At the meeting, the GCC urged all sides in Yemen to sign the transition deal aimed at ending months of anti-government unrest in the impoverished nation.

“The council urged the all parties in Yemen to sign the agreement which is the best way out of the crisis and spare the country further political division and deterioration of security,” the bloc’s leaders said in a joint statement.

GCC heads of state had discussed the bloc’s mediation efforts in Yemen which stalled in the face of veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s refusal to sign up to proposals which would require him to stand down within a month rather than serving out his term until 2013 as he insists.

Officials had earlier said the summit was also scheduled to discuss their March decision to create a development fund of $20 billion to help Bahrain and Oman.

The UAE delegation to the summit was headed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

He was earlier received at the Royal Hall of the King Khalid Air Base in Riyadh by the Custodian of the Two Holy Shrines, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, other members of the royal family, ministers and senior military and civilian officials.

Charge d’Affaires at the UAE Embassy in Riyadh Ahmed Mohammed Bushuwirib and other members of the diplomatic mission were also present.

Shaikh Mohammed was accompanied by a high-level team comprising Lt-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister; Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs; Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs ; Dr Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; and senior officials.

Gulf countries welcome bid from Jordan, Morocco to join GCC bloc

Gulf Arab leaders say they have welcomed Jordan's and Morocco's requests to join the bloc

By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief, and AP Published: 10:12 May 11, 2011


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) could be the umbrella for all the monarchies in the Arab world after the six-member alliance on Tuesday welcomed bids by the kingdoms of Jordan and Morocco to join it, its secretary general Abdul Latif Al Zayani said.

The foreign ministers of the six countries were tasked to start negotiations with their Jordanian and Moroccan counterparts to complete the required procedures, according to media reports from Riyadh where the leaders of the GCC states held their one-day annual advisory council.

The summit has no specific agenda, unlike the official annual rotating summit, usually held in December.

Deep impact

The membership of Jordan and Morocco would also have a deep political, social, economic, security and defence impact.

Jordan is geographically linked to Saudi Arabia and both kingdoms share terrestrial borders that stretch more than 700km.

Yemen has often said since the 1990s that it wanted to join the alliance, but several factors have hampered a positive response to its requests.

The Gulf Cooperation Council includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Bloc of monarchies

The bloc of monarchies was created in 1981 to coordinate political and economic policies. Following a meeting Tuesday in Riyadh, Gulf Arab leaders welcomed Jordan's request to join.

A statement on the Jordanian news agency said Jordan is seeking a free trade agreement with the GCC.

The six countries are seen as among the most influential of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' members.

They have relied on their oil wealth to secure political and economic clout. Last month the GCC sent troops into Bahrain, which is facing a rebellion against its monarchy.

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