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article imageOp-Ed: Gulf Cooperation Council Summit held in Bahrain

By Ken Hanly     Dec 24, 2012 in Politics
Manama - The 33rd meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit opens December 24th in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. A unified currency was supposed to have been approved in 2010 but difficulties have still not been resolved.
The GCC faces a number of issues including what they see as Iran's nuclear ambitions, and also turmoil following the Arab Spring in many countries including the site of the conference Bahrain.
The meeting will take place over two days. The group hope to bolster economic, environmental, and security agreements among the six member states. The GCC was formed in 1981 with the six members being:Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.
An attempt by Saudi Arabia to take the GCC to the level of a union of countries has progressed very little although there are still talks behind the scenes. Some see a union as ensuring a better future for all citizens of member states and as improving security and giving more power to deal with future challenges.
The group faces not just security problems but also the promotion of development initiatives as well as poverty and unemployment issues. Many of the states import foreign labor. In several states foreign workers outnumber citizens. Bahrain has hosted the GCC conference several times before.
An Omani official declared:
“The GCC has been able to accomplish several economic and social achievements that strengthened bonds between its people. However, the fast-paced regional and international developments and their effects on the entire world demand the conjugation of efforts to deal with them and to energise joint action mechanisms."
During earlier protests in Bahrain demanding democratic reforms, the GCC sent troops to Bahrain to help restore order. A number of protesters were killed and an inquiry found that among other faults, the government had used torture and excessive violence. However, the US continues to send military aid to Bahrain. Bahrain is headquarters of the US fifth fleet and is a close ally of the US.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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