‘GCC summit an opportunity to relaunch itself in Arab world’

By Rahul Dass, IANS
Sunday, December 5, 2010

ABU DHABI - The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit “is a chance for the organisation to relaunch itself as a force in the Arab world”, a leading daily said Sunday.

The Gulf News in an editorial said: “The GCC has been drifting for some years. It is a potentially important international organisation, but it has failed to make its mark on regional or global affairs.”

The daily said the GCC’s individual member states have tackled international issues with skill and influence, “but as a group the GCC remains invisible, even if the GCC says that it does not want to be a passive group”.

The two-day GCC summit that begins in Abu Dhabi Monday “is a chance for the organisation to relaunch itself as a force in the Arab world. The summit will have to spend some time on economic union, and try to resolve the impasse on currency union, but there is a lot more to think about”.

On the issues that are likely to be taken up at the summit, the editorial said: “Iran will need careful attention as the present US-led sanctions drift into eventual failure. Iraq is still not on the way to full recovery, and needs support from its neighbours.”

“Palestine is getting more and more difficult by the day, and the looming catastrophe in Sudan is approaching very quickly with the hotly disputed referendum due in January. Yemen desperately needs well intentioned help, where the GCC is well placed to build on Qatar’s noble start, and make a substantial impact in heading off a further drift to chaos in Yemen.”

It wrapped up by saying that there was a “lot to do in the region, and the GCC member states are well placed to make a substantial difference, if they can find the political will to act together”.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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