9/10/2012

Kuwait ex-MP bats for a GCC foreign minister


Al Munawer argues move would serve the goal of a Gulf Union
  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief

Manama: Former Kuwaiti lawmaker Osama Al Munawer has made a stirring plea for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to appoint a foreign minister.
“The GCC is in dire need of creating a post of foreign minister,” Al Munawer, a member of the parliament elected in February and dissolved in June wrote on his Twitter account. “The current conditions require the unification of all efforts and decisions. This is a step forward towards the Gulf Union.”
Several GCC lawmakers and columnists, citing looming security concerns and regional threats, have been pushing for closer ties between the six member states of the GCC and the creation of unified institutions that will strengthen the bloc.
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been engaged in talks to pave the way for a formal union after Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz told fellow GCC states that it was time for the alliance, founded in 1981 in Abu Dhabi, to move from the phase of cooperation to a Gulf Union within a single entity.
The council members have reportedly agreed on the move but ascribe to different views on a realistic timeframe.
An ad-hoc commission, made up of 12 members, two from each member country, was set up to look into ways to implement the proposal and its report was submitted to the Council. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were openly enthusiastic about the move, while other members said that more time was needed to achieve the transition.
However, the GCC leaders at their annual advisory summit in Riyadh in May came round to the view that more time was needed and that the initiative would be reviewed by the council of foreign ministers.