Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, called for the formation of a Gulf union during the opening speech of the annual Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] summit in Riyadh.
Addressing the GCC summit, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz welcomed the GCC leaders and delegations heads to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, appealing to Almighty Allah to allow the meeting to achieve development and the protection of the people of the Arab Gulf region, as well as the Arab and Islamic nations.
King Abdullah began by saying “our summit opens in the shadow of challenges that require vigilance and a united stance” adding “no doubt, you are all aware that our security and stability has been threatened and we therefore need to live up to our responsibilities towards our region and nations. We, in the Arab Gulf countries, are an integral part of the Arab and Islamic community. Our duty is to assist our brothers to achieve their aspirations…so that the blood stops flowing and to guard against the risks of foreign intervention.”
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz also stressed that “history and experience have taught us not to stop and watch the status quo, as whoever follows such behavior will find themselves at the end of the queue facing loss and weakness” adding “we do not accept this situation for our nations, peoples, stability, and security. Therefore, I ask today that we move from a phase of cooperation to a phase of union within a single entity which achieves good and wards off evil.”
In conclusion, the King appealed to Almighty Allah to bless the GCC summit.
The Saudi monarch did not elaborate on what form such a union might take, or propose what precise steps must be taken to create it.
The 32nd GCC summit in Riyadh is expected to discuss the situation in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, as well as the situation in Iraq, following the withdrawal of US troops.
The GCC is a political and economic union of Gulf States formed in 1981, comprising Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE. The GCC’s headquarters is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the current GCC Secretary-General is Bahraini Dr. Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani.