Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is planning to take measures to ward off foreign attempts to interfere in the affairs of the region off the back of the organization’s 35th annual session in Doha earlier this week, an informed Gulf source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
A GCC political source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Asharq Al-Awsat that the council began considering the measures after detecting several cases of intervention in Arab affairs by regional countries.
Member states agreed to hold a meeting, expected to be hosted by Riyadh in the next few days, to formulate a vision and a general framework aimed at addressing these threats, the source maintained.
“The coming days could see a unified GCC stance to stop such attempts led by neighboring countries to intervene in Arab affairs,” the source said.
In its final communique, the GCC Doha summit reiterated member states’ rejection of foreign intervention in the affairs of the countries of the region.
The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash was recently quoted by Arab news outlets as describing the roles of Iran and Turkey in the region as “worrying and unacceptable.”
According to the source, Gargash’s comments followed revelations of interference by the two countries in Arab affairs, including reports of Turkey’s meddling in Egypt and Iran’s “desperate” aspirations to play a role in Bahrain and Yemen.
In a speech during the opening ceremony of a services project in Istanbul a few days ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a crowd of his supporters that no one can question Ankara’s right to intervene in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Erdoğan argued that it was the duty and responsibility of Turkey to do so.
The source described the Turkish president’s comments as tantamount to a breach of international norms.