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No Peninsula Shield Forces near Syria- GCC official | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – A well-informed official within the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] Secretariat-General informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Gulf Peninsula Shield force has not been deployed closer to Syria, stressing that what happened earlier this week in the city of Tabuk – northern Saudi Arabia – was a “routine” reorganization of forces within Saudi Arabia.

The GCC official, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, stressed that “the GCC states are continuing their diplomatic and political pressure on the Syrian leadership, particularly as the call for intervention in Syria is political, not military.”

The official also revealed that Qatar is seeking to convince the international community to militarily intervene in Syria, whilst the other Gulf States – including Saudi Arabia – will only take action within the framework of an international resolution.

Saudi Arabia Defense Minister Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz, in an interview published by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah, stressed that the GCC Peninsula Shield Force was no longer a dream, but a force that had proven its capability of carrying out military and combat action during the 1990 Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and against Iranian intervention in Bahrain.

He said “a dream is usually the beginning of something new. Actually, a unified Gulf Army already exists, meaning the dream has been realized through the Peninsula Shield Force that made its existence known during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, in addition to its contributions to previous efforts to stop the interference of Iran in Bahrain.”

He added “these scenarios prove that the Peninsula Shield Force is the nucleus of a Gulf military authority which protects the GCC countries from any danger surrounding them.”

The Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] Secretariat-General official was speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of the first meeting of the GCC’s 15th Supreme Consultative Council in Jeddah. The working sessions dealt with the agenda and minutes of the previous session, as well as the studies that were presented and approved during this session. This session also included studying the formation of committees to examine issues refereed to the GCC, including a strategy for Gulf youth, enhancing the spirit of citizenship, employment within the GCC, the establishment of a unified GCC authority for civil aviation, examination of non-contagious diseases in the Gulf, and examining the requirements for a Gulf confederation.

In this regard, GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif Al Zayani informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the GCC would be establishing a committee comprised of three delegates sent by each GCC state to carry out initial discussions about moving from a phase of “cooperation” to one of “union”, according to the proposal put forward by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.

In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the GCC Secretary-General stressed that “we have prepared and agreed a method for studying all the proposals and views submitted to achieve this desire [to move to a phase of Gulf union]. The committee has submitted its initial report to the GCC ministerial committee which will study this to reach recommendation which will then be submitted to the GCC Supreme Council at the consultative meeting that is scheduled to take place next May, which will give the final decision over the formation of a Gulf Union.”