Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Unity of Interests | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) summit will be held next week in Saudi Arabia.

On the agenda to be discussed Scheduled at the summit is a critical proposal on trade and economic ties, perhaps the most important bond for GCC states.

Disagreements continue between council members regarding custom income distribution and the issue of local agents in Gulf countries. The protection that some members apply on their goods and products is another issue. The summit’s agenda also includes discussing dual agreements that some members have signed with the United States.

One of the reasons for the strength and survival of the GCC is that its members disagree but never stop their mutual cooperation.

It seems that the Gulf has bid farewell to the mentality of disjunction in their disagreements, unlike countries that disagree and end up cut off relations, business and diplomatic.

We all recall the last Manama Summit, and how much tension existed between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain concerning the latter’s tax agreement with the United States. Many Arab analysts expected Saudi Arabia to boycott the summit, which would have led to the whole summit falling apart. However, all these turned out to be losing bets as region leaders summoned a common will to get over the dispute with the spirit of understanding. No unity can be achieved without a unified gulf economy. We that said if goods and people don’t move easily, there will be no unity. There won”t be any joint economic projects as long as Emirate”s farmers fail to sell their products in Qatar, or Saudi manufactured products can”t be sold in Kuwait without encountering problems, and gas producers in Qatar is unable to reach Masqat while Omani fishermen are unable to move their cargo with out it expiring due to the sluggish procedures that exists between the custom areas in the gulf.

Nations to be called united are those that interfuse their interests. Unity through romantic songs, festivals, formalities and speeches is really a waste of time and effort. An ambitious program is looming and it must be backed up. It is the project of a common market, common currency and a united economic force. This dream requires sacrifices from everybody. Every small sacrifice members make today will be doubly rewarded tomorrow. We look forward for the summit to succeed. Our nations will take no less than success.