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  • 06 January, 2021

  • 17 Min Read

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

  • Gulf leaders signed a “solidarity and stability” deal after leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar publicly embraced, bringing Doha back into the regional fold after a three-year-long rift.
  • Saudi Arabia had led a coalition of countries in the Gulf and beyond to cut ties and transport links with Qatar in June 2017, charging that it was too close to Iran and backed radical Islamist groups — allegations that Doha denied.
  • Those countries, along with Oman and Kuwait, which have mediated between the two sides, signed a deal in Al-Ula, after Riyadh overnight re-opened its land, sea and air borders to Doha.
  • “There is a desperate need today to unite our efforts to promote our region and to confront challenges that surround us, especially the threats posed by the Iranian regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme and its plans for sabotage and destruction,” said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • The details of the agreement were not immediately released, and analysts warned that any deal could be preliminary in nature and may not immediately end all the measures taken against Qatar.

About Gulf Cooperation Council, 1981

  • GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq and Iran, namely: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • It was established at Abu Dhabi.
  • Objectives
    1. Customs Union; Common market; Common currency.
    2. similar regulations in various fields such as religion, finance, trade, tourism, legislation, and administration.
    3. Unified military
    4. Set up joint ventures, private sector.

The disintegration of GCC: Qatar crisis

  • Blockade of Qatar in 2017 by Saudi, UAE and Bahrain because it is accused of terrorist funding.
  • Qatar said it will not discuss the compromise until the blockade is removed.
  • Plus there was an issue of the killing of Khashoggi who was a Saudi Journalist.
  • Qatar is the largest exporter of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).
  • The blockade has made Qatar only more independent in Foreign Policy decisions.
    • It increased assistance for Hamas, Gaza.
    • It increased the plan to allow Turkey to set up a military camp.
    • It resists the call to cut ties with Iran.

India and Gulf Countries

  • Gulf countries need Indians to work for them. NRI gives remittances and India's CAD is reduced by Forex.
  • India tried before 1st lockdown to bring people from these countries. But still, they are in West Asia and these countries are discriminatory in nature (no test facilities, captured passport, no wages).
  • India should provide holistic policy for them and bilaterally we can improve ties.
  • Around 8 million people are in West Asia and 50% of them are unskilled and 30% are semi-skilled.
  • Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha are important transit for international travel. Thousands of Indian tourists were also stranded there during COVID.

Source: TH

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