Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) interior ministers have issued guidance on establishing a joint Gulf police force, set to be based in Abu Dhabi, to boost security cooperation among member states. The joint GCC police force has been dubbed a “Gulf Interpol” and will seek to promote GCC efforts to combat cross-border criminal activity in the region.
Under the chairmanship of Kuwaiti Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, GCC interior ministers held their 33rd general meeting in Kuwait City on Wednesday to discuss regional security issues, including the implementation of a joint police force.
In his inaugural speech at the conference, the Kuwaiti Interior Minister said: “We need to lay down a clear-cut strategy for combating all crimes, particularly drug trafficking and money laundering through a concerted effort.”
“The security services and civil society in each country have to join forces in the fight against such crimes as narcotic addiction, money laundering, cyber-crime and, credit card crimes. No country can address this challenge of organized crime alone,” he added.
The GCC agreed to appoint Emirati Lt. Col Mubarak Al-Khayli as the joint police force’s chief, with Abu Dhabi being selected as the location for the force’s headquarters, GCC assistant secretary-general for security affairs Hazza’a Al-Hajri told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Following a decision from GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani, the presidency [of the joint police force] will rotate among the six member states every three years,” Hajri said.
Member states will subscribe to a joint criminal database, with each appointing a representative to act as a point of contact with the GCC police force.
The GCC police force will operate under the security department of the GCC general-secretariat which acts as a central database and an information exchange unit.
The GCC ministerial council is set to ratify the plan before presenting it to the 35th GCC summit scheduled to take place in Doha next month, Hajri told Asharq Al-Awsat.
GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said that ministers emphasized “the need for strengthening collective action to safeguard security and stability and combat criminal acts that compromise the safety and security of Gulf societies.”