The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) bears a large responsibility toward Yemen. It is not just a moral obligation but one of national security and regional stability. Any developments, positive or negative, in the GCC’s backyard will affect the development and stability of the region.
At present, two theories dominate the GCC’s attitude regarding Yemen; both are equally dangerous and will lead to catastrophic results. The first calls for Yemen to be ignored and says Gulf countries are not responsible for anyone and have enough problems to contend with. This is an irresponsible thesis which fails to understand the regional situation. It also denies the presence of any problems.
The second represents an emotional call and demands Yemen be incorporated into the GCC immediately. This theory disregards essential facts on the ground since union can only occur between equal parties with similar economic growth and per capita income. Even the European Union, a large economic grouping, divided nations into groups and specified dates and conditions to enable countries to join, far from emotional and moral pretensions.
There are some who consider the question of Yemen’s entry into the GCC from an oversimplified perspective that lacks any concern for progress. This is an emotional rather than a logical perspective. If matters were judged by affection and feelings, I would have been amongst the first to call for Yemen to immediately join the GCC. However, past experiences and theories of immediate unification teach us that such steps are politically immature and might lead to negative consequences for all participants, including Yemen.
Faced with two opposing theories, neglecting Yemen or incorporating it, what is the course that needs to be taken?