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Volume :10 Issue : 37 1984      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

Auther : By: Dr. Abdullah Al-Ashaal

Established in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is, par excellence, a regional organization aiming at maintaining peace and security in the Gulf region, in accordance with Chapter 8 of the United Nations Chapter. This characterization of the GCC implies its legal personality, but does not necessarily imply that it possesses the powers to act in the international scene as one entity, or to enforce its decisions vis-à-vis its member states and their inhabitants. Hence, it stands midway between being a super-national organization and a simple organ of co-ordination in the political field. In point of fact, the GCC is entitled to act simultaneously in two main directions:

  • to steer the political bahaviour of its members in the main domains towards a reasonable degree of co-ordination and harmony and
  • to assign to some of its member states, the task of its representation in certain occasions and urgent situations e.g. mediation by some members between Iran and Iraq, between the two Yemens, between Algeria and Morocco…etc.

Possibilities for attaining high levels of integration and co-ordination between the GCC member states are based on a number of attributes namely: the prevalence of brotherly relations of solidarity and cooperation between its members, based primarily on the facts of history and the semblance of their political, social and economic systems, in addition to the harmony and homogeneity of their international orientations.

Despite the differences in the foreign policy attitudes of some member states due to specific circumstances, yet, they represent positive aspects of diversity within unity. The reasons for instance why Kuwait maintains diplomatic relations with countries of diverse socio-political systems such as: the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, other socialist countries and the western countries – are discussed in details. Interpretations of the foreign policy orientations of the other five member states have been concisely presented.

The concluding part of this paper discussed the role played by the GCC in the Middle East crisis, the Iraqi-Iranian war, the invasion of Afghanistan and alleviation of local disputes between its member states (e.g. the dispute between Qatar and Bahrain over the island of Howar).

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