GCC at a critical juncture

The unprecedented brevity of the summit and the low level of representation dem­onstrated the extent the Qatari crisis had put a damper on expectations from the gathering.

A general view for the GCC leaders meeting in Kuwait City on December 5. (AFP)


2017/12/10 Issue: 135 Page: 5




The 38th Gulf Coop­eration Council (GCC) summit highlighted the limits of this regional grouping but the an­nouncement the same day of a new UAE-Saudi “cooperation and coordination” mechanism point­ed to new possibilities in regional collaboration.

The unprecedented brevity of the GCC summit and the low level of representation at the December 5 gathering in Kuwait City dem­onstrated the extent to which the Qatari crisis had put a damper on expectations from the gathering.

Doha’s unwillingness to seri­ously address grievances of the Saudi-led Arab boycott did not leave much room for hope of tangible results from the sum­mit. The meeting, which went on without the participation of the Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini heads of state, nonetheless would have the credit of formally preserving the existence of the GCC as a func­tioning entity.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the key countries in the regional grouping, seemed, however, convinced of the press­ing need for a more efficient ap­proach in the face of regional challenges, not the least of which is Iran’s pursuit of hostile designs as illustrated by its support for its Houthi proxies in Yemen.

It came, therefore, as no sur­prise that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi announced a “joint coordination and cooperation committee” that would “bolster and coordinate re­lations between the two countries in the military, political, econom­ic, commercial and cultural and other fields dictated by the inter­ests of the two countries.”

“The new Saudi-UAE commit­tee is bound to be seen as an al­ternative, if not substitute, to the malfunctioning GCC,” wrote Pat­rick Wintour, diplomatic editor of the Guardian.

The strategic vision behind the UAE-Saudi initiative reflects a keen awareness of the serious challenges facing the Gulf region. It also indicates the political will to urgently address such challenges.


As Printed
MENA Now
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar

Correspondents

Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi

Designers

Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor at:editor@thearabweekly.com

Subscription & Advertising: Ads@alarab.co.uk

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

www.alarab.co.uk

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved