Bahrain launches radio for GCC summit


Summit issues to be discussed by programme guests
  • By Habib Toumi Bureau chief

Manama: Bahrain has launched a radio station to cover the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit to be held in Manama on December 24-25.
The GCC Voice Radio will broadcast programmes from 9am to 11am until Sunday, December 23, but will have a larger slot thereafter, broadcasting from 1pm to 5pm until Wednesday.
Radio presenters and media crews from GCC member countries and the general secretariat will be presenting programmes on the radio station that will broadcast on the 98.4 FM frequency, the head of Bahrain Radio, Younus Salman, said.
The radio will host leading GCC political, social cultural and sport personalities who will discuss the issues on the agenda of the 33rd GCC Summit.  

Younus said that the audience will be allowed to interact with the radio through a Twitter account.
Bahrain News Agency (BNA) will also carry the radio programmes live, he said.
Several Bahrainis have expressed hope that the Manama Summit will be a step forward in changing the GCC, founded in 1981, from a loose alliance into a real union, similar in its structure to the European Union.
Bahraini officials have said that talk about a Gulf union at the summit was unlikely, although they insisted that the possibility could not be ruled out completely.
Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz at the last summit last year called upon the six members of the GCC — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — to move from the phase of cooperation to the phase of union within a single entity.
The idea was endorsed by the member states, but divergences over the pace of its implementation have emerged, causing them to call for more time to look into finer details.
In May, the GCC leaders said that they would announce the union at a special summit to be held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Bahrainis who supported the union had hoped for an announcement at some time of a fast track that would in its initial phase bring together two or three states. The first core would be joined later by the other countries, they said.