King Abdullah calls for GCC to form Gulf Union
Gulf leaders back call for union of six member nations by Saudi's king
Ties between GCC countries could become a lot closer – with a possible move to a single currency, common market and customs union - if a proposal to form a Gulf Union is adopted by its member states.
Leaders from each of the six member states met in Riyadh on Tuesday to discuss a proposal mooted by Saudi’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for the GCC to move from a “phase of cooperation to the phase of union”.
A statement issued by the General Secretariat of the GCC on Tuesday said: "Stemming from the faith of the GCC leaders in the importance of this proposal and its positive impact on the peoples of the region, as well as in line with the provisions of Article IV of the GCC Statute on coordination, integration and interdependence among Member States in all fields reaching up to unity, and after the exchange of views on the proposal.
"The leaders have given directives to the Ministerial Council to form a specialised body comprising three members from each state. The body will be mandated to study the proposal in all its aspects in the light of the views exchanged among the leaders.
"The meetings of the board will be held at the headquarters of the General Secretariat, which will provide all necessary administrative, technical and financial support to facilitate this."
Member states have until February 1 2012 to name their representatives, and the board will present a preliminary report to the Ministerial Council at its first session in March 2012.
The Riyadh Declaration stated that the Union should speed up development of its member states, fortify the home front, and work to achieve “the highest degree of economic integration among the GCC countries and overcome the impediments that obstruct the march to achieve the customs union, monetary union and the common market of GCC states.”