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GCC to launch Joint Military Command at Doha summit: source - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In this June 2, 2013 file photo, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers attend the GCC's 126th session in the Saudi city of Jeddah. (AFP Photo/STR)

In this June 2, 2013 file photo, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers attend the GCC's 126th session in the Saudi city of Jeddah. (AFP Photo/STR)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will launch a joint military command during its annual meeting scheduled for December 9 in the Qatari capital Doha, an informed Gulf military source told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Plans for establishing the unified military command were announced at the 34th GCC summit, held in Kuwait City in December 2013. During that meeting, GCC leaders tasked the organization’s Joint Defense Council to take “all necessary measures” to maintain the security and stability of member states and build a unified defense system.

A senior GCC military official, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said that the committees tasked with implementing the Kuwait summit resolution had finalized their work and the Joint Military Command was expected to be launched at next month’s summit of GCC leaders.

The military source characterized military cooperation among member states as “good,” adding that there were no obstacles impeding the announcement of a joint military command.

The new command may take on the task of coordinating between member states and the US-led international coalition against terrorism, which is currently launching airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Al-Nusra Front in both Syria and Iraq, the source said. He added that the command will be based out of Saudi Arabia.

The GCC ministerial council is set to hold its 133rd meeting in Doha on Friday and will be chaired by Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah,

“The 133th session of the ministerial council will be held in preparation for the 35th GCC summit hosted by the state of Qatar between December 9 and 10,” GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said.

The ministers will discuss a number of reports submitted by the GCC ministerial committees and the general secretariat, following up on the course of cooperation among member states. The meeting will discuss issues related to strategic dialogue between member states and world powers, as well as the latest regional and international developments.

The council will hold another meeting with the foreign ministers of Jordan, Morocco and Yemen to discuss ways to develop strategic partnerships, Zayani added.