Kuwait City, Asharq Al-Awsat—A high-level Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) official told Asharq Al-Awsat on Thursday that the Gulf states have agreed that the central headquarters of the recently announced GCC Joint Military Command will be in Riyadh.
GCC leaders had announced the establishment of the unified military command at the 34th GCC summit, held in Kuwait City earlier this week.
The high-level source refused to divulge any additional information about the new force, but confirmed that the GCC states had agreed on Riyadh as a headquarters after studying the proposal, and that the new military command is in the implementation phase.
The annual GCC summit, held in Kuwait City earlier this week, adopted a number of key decisions, most prominently the formation of a joint military command to strengthen the GCC’s joint defense capabilities amid growing challenges.
The final communiqué announced that the GCC endorses “the formation of a joint military command for the GCC states, as well as the establishment of a Gulf Academy for strategic and security studies.”
The GCC also agreed to lay the foundations for a joint Gulf police force, according to a statement carried by the official Kuwait News Agency.
The GCC final communiqué said: “Ratifying the draft resolution for establishing the police force, the GCC Supreme Council stressed that the new body will boost security and help expand anti-terror co-operation and co-ordination among member states.”
It is not yet known whether the joint Gulf police force will be headquartered alongside their military counterpart in Riyadh or be based elsewhere.
The GCC member states formed the Peninsula Shield force in 1982. The joint Gulf military force had initially numbered 5,000 troops, but has since between expanded to more than 30,000.
The GCC, which consists of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar, was founded in 1981 in order to strengthen economic, political and defense co-operation among the Arab monarchies of the Gulf in the wake of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the outbreak of the Iran–Iraq War in 1980.