The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf ( ar, مجلس التعاون لدول العربية الخليج ), also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC; ar, مجلس التعاون الخليجي), is a
regional In geography, regions, otherwise referred to as zones, lands or territories, are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and t ...
, intergovernmental, political, and
economic union An economic union is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a common market with a customs union. The participant countries have both common policies on product regulation, freedom of movement of goods, services and the factors of prod ...
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ; ar, البحرين, al-Bahrayn, locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, ' is an island country in Western Asia. It is situated on the Persian Gulf, and comprises a small archipelago made up of 50 natural islands and an a ...
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq to the nor ...
Oman Oman ( ; ar, عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar, سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is an Arabian country located in southwestern Asia. It is situated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and spans the mouth of t ...
Qatar Qatar (, ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East; it s ...
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the fifth-largest country in Asia, the second-largest in the Arab ...
, and the
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, اَلْإِمَارَات الْعَرَبِيَة الْمُتَحِدَة ), or simply the Emirates ( ar, الِْإمَارَات ), is a country in Western Asia ( The Middle East). It is located at t ...
. The council's main headquarters is located in
Riyadh Riyadh (, ar, الرياض, 'ar-Riyāḍ, lit.: 'The Gardens' Najdi pronunciation: ), formerly known as Hajr al-Yamamah, is the capital and largest city of Saudi Arabia. It is also the capital of the Riyadh Province and the centre of the ...
, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The Charter of the GCC was signed on 25 May 1981, formally establishing the institution. All current member states are monarchies, including three constitutional monarchies (Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two
absolute monarchies Absolute monarchy (or Absolutism as a doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch rules in their own right or power. In an absolute monarchy, the king or queen is by no means limited and has absolute power, though a limited constitut ...
(Saudi Arabia and Oman), and one
federal monarchy A federal monarchy, in the strict sense, is a federation of states with a single monarch as overall head of the federation, but retaining different monarchs, or having a non-monarchical system of government, in the various states joined to t ...
(the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own
emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or political office, or other person possessing actual or cer ...
). There have been discussions regarding the future membership of
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ' is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, within the Levant region, on the East Bank of the Jordan Rive ...
Morocco Morocco (),, ) officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is the westernmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and has land borders with Algeria to ...
, and
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast a ...
. During the Arab Spring in 2011, Saudi Arabia proposed to transform the GCC into a "Gulf Union" with tighter economic, political and military coordination, a move considered to be intended to counterbalance
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west, by Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northwest, by the Caspian Sea and Turk ...
ian influence in the region, however objections were raised by other countries. In 2014, Bahraini prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said that current events in the region highlighted the importance of the proposal. The Peninsula Shield Force is the military arm of the GCC, formed in 1984.


The idea was brought upon by Jaber Al Ahmed he visited Abu Dhabi to meet with sheikh
Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan ( ar, زَايِد بِن سُلْطَان آل نَهْيَان, Zāyed bin Sulṭān Āl Nahyān; 6 May 1918 – 2 November 2004) was an Emirati politician, statesman, and philanthropist who served as ...
and a meeting was created to announce the union comprised Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The unified economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council was signed on 11 November 1981 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. These countries are often referred to as "the GCC states".


In 2001, the GCC Supreme Council set the following goals: * Customs union in January 2003 *
Common market The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957,Today the largely rewritten treaty continues in force as the ''Treaty on the functioning of the European Union'', as renamed by the Lis ...
by 2007 * Common currency by 2010 Oman announced in December 2006 that it would not be able to meet the 2010 target date for a common currency. Following the announcement that the central bank for the monetary union would be located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, rather than in the UAE, they announced their withdrawal from the monetary union project in May 2009. The name Khaleeji has been proposed as a name for this currency. If realized, the GCC monetary union would be the second-largest supranational monetary union in the world, measured by the GDP of the common-currency area. Other stated objectives include: * Formulating similar regulations in various fields such as religion, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, and administration. * Fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water, and animal resources. * Establishing scientific research centers. * Setting up joint ventures. * Unified military (Peninsula Shield Force). * Encouraging cooperation of the private sector. * Strengthening ties between their people. The area has some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, mostly due to a boom in oil and
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas or simply gas) is a naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes. Low levels of trace gases like carbon ...
revenues coupled with a building and investment boom backed by decades of saved
petroleum Petroleum, also known as crude oil, or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid mixture of mainly hydrocarbons, and is found in geological formations. The name ''petroleum'' covers both naturally occurring unprocessed crude ...
revenues. In an effort to build a tax base and economic foundation before the reserves run out, the UAE's investment arms, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, retain over US$900 billion in assets. Other regional funds have several hundreds of billions of dollars of assets under management. The region is an emerging hotspot for events, including the 2006 Asian Games in
Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf coast in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of Al Khor, it is home to most of the cou ...
Qatar Qatar (, ; ar, قطر, Qaṭar ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar,) is a country in Western Asia. It occupies the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East; it s ...
. Doha also submitted an unsuccessful application for the
2016 Summer Olympics ) , nations = 207 (including IOA and EOR teams) , athletes = 11,238 , events = 306 in 28 sports (41 disciplines) , opening = 5 August 2016 , closing = 21 August 2016 , opened_by = Vice President Michel Temer , cauldron = Vanderlei Cordeiro ...
. Qatar would later host the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup is an international football tournament contested by the men's national teams of FIFA's member associations. The 22nd FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022; it is the first Wor ...
. Recovery plans have been criticized for crowding out the private sector, failing to set clear priorities for growth, failing to restore weak consumer and investor confidence, and undermining long-term stability.


The logo of the GCC consists of two concentric circles. On the upper part of the larger circle, the Bismillah phrase is written in
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C. E.Watson; Walte ...
, which means "In the name of God", and on the lower part of the circle the council's full name is written in Arabic. The inner-circle contains an embossed hexagonal shape representing the six countries. The inside of the hexagon shows a map encompassing the Arabian Peninsula, on which the areas of the member countries are colored in brown, borderless. On the edge of the hexagon are colors representing the flags of the six-member countries.


Internal market

common market The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957,Today the largely rewritten treaty continues in force as the ''Treaty on the functioning of the European Union'', as renamed by the Lis ...
was launched on 1 January 2008, easing movement of goods and services, with plans to create a fully integrated single market. Implementation later lagged behind, after the 2009 financial crisis. The creation of a customs union began in 2003, and was completed and fully operational by 1 January 2015. In January 2015, the common market was also further integrated, covering full equality among GCC citizens to work in government and private sectors, the ability to access social insurance and retirement coverage, real estate ownership rights, capital movement, and access to education, health and other social services, in all member states. However, some barriers remained in the free movement of goods and services. The coordination of taxation systems, accounting standards and civil legislation is currently in progress. The interoperability of professional qualifications, insurance certificates and identity documents is also underway.

Monetary union

In 2014, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia took major steps to ensure the creation of a single currency. Kuwait's finance minister said the four members are pushing ahead with the monetary union but said some "technical points" need to be cleared. He added, "A common market and common central bank would also position the GCC as one entity that would have great influence on the international financial system". The implementation of a single currency and the creation of a central bank is overseen by the Monetary Council. There is currently a degree to which a nominal GCC single currency already exists. Businesses trade using a basket of GCC currencies, just as before the Euro was introduced, the
European Currency Unit The European Currency Unit (, ; , ECU, or XEU) was a unit of account used by the European Economic Community and composed of a basket of member country currencies. The ECU came in to operation on 13 March 1979 and was assigned the ISO 4 ...
(ECU) had been used as a nominal medium of exchange. Plans to introduce a single currency had been drawn up as far back as 2009, however due to the
financial crisis of 2007–2008 Finance is the study and discipline of money, currency and capital assets. It is related to, but not synonymous with economics, the study of production, distribution, and consumption of money, assets, goods and services (the discipline of ...
and political differences, the UAE and Oman withdrew their membership.

Mergers and acquisitions

Companies and investors from GCC countries are active in
mergers and acquisitions Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are business transactions in which the ownership of companies, other business organizations, or their operating units are transferred to or consolidated with another company or business organization. As an aspec ...
. Since 1999, more than 5,200 transactions with a known value of US$573 billion had been announced. Investors include a number of
sovereign wealth fund A sovereign wealth fund (SWF), sovereign investment fund, or social wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative investments such ...


The GCC launched common economic projects to promote and facilitate integration. Member states have connected their power grids, and a water connection project was launched with plans to be in use by 2020. A project to create common air transport was also unveiled. The GCC has also launched major rail projects, to connect the peninsula. The railways are expected to fuel intra-regional trade while helping reduce fuel consumption. Over US$200 billion will be invested to develop about of rail network across the GCC, according to Oman's Minister of Transport and Communications. The project, estimated to be worth $15.5 billion, is scheduled to be completed by 2021. According to Ramiz Al Assar, Resident World Bank advisor for the GCC, it will link the six member states as a regional transport corridor, further integrating with the national railway projects, deepening economic social and political integration, and it is developed from a sustainable perspective. Saudi Arabian Railways, Etihad Rail, and national governments have invested 15 billion dollars as of early 2015 into railway infrastructure to create rail networks for transporting freight, connecting cities, and reducing transport times.

Politics and governance

Supreme Council

The GCC Supreme Council is composed of the heads of state of the member states. It is the highest decision-making entity of the GCC, setting its vision and goals. Decisions on important issues require unanimous approval, while issues on procedural matters require a majority. Each member state has one vote. The presidency rotates based on the alphabetical order of the names of the member states.

Ministerial Council

The Ministerial Council is composed of the Foreign Ministers of all the member states. It convenes every three months. It formulates policies, and makes recommendations to promote cooperation and achieve coordination among the member states, when implementing ongoing projects. Decisions are submitted in the form of recommendations, which the Supreme Council can approve. The Ministerial Council is also responsible for preparations of meetings of the Supreme Council and its agenda. The voting procedure in the Ministerial Council is the same as in the Supreme Council.

Secretariat General

The Secretariat is the executive arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It takes decisions within its authority, and implements decisions approved by the Supreme or Ministerial Council. The Secretariat also compiles studies relating to cooperation, coordination, and planning for common actions, and occasionally releases reports regarding the work done by the GCC as a whole, and the implementation of its own decisions. The current Secretary-General is Nayef Falah Mubarak Al Hajraf, and his deputies include Abdulaziz Al Auwaishig and Khalifa Alfadhel.

Monetary Council

On 15 December 2009, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia announced the creation of a Monetary Council, to introduce a single currency for the union. The board of the council, which set a timetable and action plan for establishing a central bank and chose a currency regime, met for the first time on 30 March 2010. Kuwaiti
foreign minister A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs) is generally a cabinet minister in charge of a state's foreign policy and relations. The formal title of the top official varies between cou ...
Mohammad Sabah Al-Sabah said on 8 December 2009 that a single currency may take up to ten years to establish. Oman and the UAE later announced their withdrawal from the proposed currency. In 2014, major moves were taken to ensure the launch of a single currency. Kuwait's finance minister stated that a currency should be implemented without delay. Negotiations with the UAE and Oman to expand the monetary union were renewed.

Patent Office

The GCC Patent Office was approved in 1992, and established soon after in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Applications are filed and prosecuted in the
Arabic language Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C. E.Watson; Walte ...
before it and grants patents valid in all GCC member states, but is a separate office from the Saudi Arabian Patent Office. The first GCC patent was granted in 2002. As of 2013, it employed about 30 patent examiners.

Peninsula Shield Force

Amidst the Bahraini uprising, Saudi Arabia and the UAE sent ground troops to Bahrain in order to protect vital infrastructure such as the airport and highway system. Kuwait and Oman refrained from sending troops. Instead, Kuwait sent a
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions. It ...
unit. The secretary-general of the GCC strongly endorsed the use of international force in Libya. GCC member states joined coalition efforts to enforce the no-fly zone. In September 2014, GCC members Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar, and pending member Jordan commenced air operations against the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant An Islamic state is a state that has a form of government based on Islamic law (sharia). As a term, it has been used to describe various historical polities and theories of governance in the Islamic world. As a translation of the Arabic ter ...
(ISIL) in Syria. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, however, are among the states that oppose the
Muslim Brotherhood The Society of the Muslim Brothers ( ar, جماعة الإخوان المسلمين'' ''), better known as the Muslim Brotherhood ( ', is a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan ...
in Syria, whereas Qatar has historically supported it. They also pledged other support including operating training facilities for Syrian rebels, in Saudi Arabia, and allowing the use of their airbases by other countries fighting ISIL. Some GCC countries also send some troops to fight the opposition government in Yemen.

GCC Standardization Organization

The GCC Standardization Organization is the standardization organization of the GCC. Yemen is also a member of the GCC Standardization Organization.

Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting

The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) was founded in 1976 by the six GCC member states; Yemen joined the organization in 2009. It is headquartered at Doha, Qatar. The organization chart of GOIC includes the board members and the General Secretariat. The Board is formed by member state representatives appointed by their governments.


Member states

There are six member states of the union:

Associated members

The associate membership of
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...
in certain GCC-related institutions was cancelled after the
invasion of Kuwait The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was an operation conducted by Iraq on 2 August 1990, whereby it invaded the neighboring State of Kuwait, consequently resulting in a seven-month-long Iraqi military occupation of the country. The invasion and Ir ...
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast a ...
was in negotiations for GCC membership in 2007, and hoped to join by 2016. Yemen is already a member of the GCC Standardization Authority, the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), the GCC Auditing and Accounting Authority, the Gulf Radio and TV Authority, the GCC Council of Health Ministers, the GCC Education and Training Bureau, the GCC Council of Labour & and Social Affairs Ministers, and The Gulf Cup Football Tournament. The Council issued directives that all the necessary legal measures be taken, so that Yemen would have the same rights and obligations of GCC member states in those institutions.


The union has served as a grouping for sports co-operation and competition. The GCC states have an annual meeting of the Youth and Sports Ministers of each state to boost youth and sports initiatives in the region. The promotion of the hosting of international sports events has also served an economic purpose for the union's countries, leading to investment and development in the region. The GCC Games, a quadrennial multi-sport event, was established by the union and first held in
2011 File:2011 Events Collage.png, From top left, clockwise: a protester partaking in Occupy Wall Street heralds the beginning of the Occupy movement; protests against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who was killed that October; a young man celebra ...
. There are numerous long-running GCC Championships for individual sports, including: the Gulf Cooperation Council Athletics Championships (first held in 1986; youth section from 2000) sailing, basketball, swimming, tennis, gymnastics (senior and youth levels), weightlifting, futsal, snooker, and table tennis.

2014 Qatar–Saudi diplomatic conflict

Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East-North Africa (
MENA MENA, an acronym in the English language, refers to a grouping of countries situated in and around the Middle East and North Africa. It is also known as WANA, SWANA, or NAWA, which alternatively refers to the Middle East as Western Asia (or a ...
) region,
Hamas Hamas (, ; , ; an acronym of , "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a Palestinian Sunni- Islamic fundamentalist, militant, and nationalist organization. It has a social service wing, Dawah, and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassa ...
and radical Islamists in Libya, has led to increasing tensions with other
Arab states of the Persian Gulf The Arab states of the Persian Gulf refers to a group of Arab states which border the Persian Gulf. There are seven member states of the Arab League in the region: Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. ...
. These tensions came to a head during a March 2014 meeting of the GCC, after which the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors to Qatar. Some financial economists have interpreted the 2014 Saudi–Qatari rift as a tangible political sign of a growing economic rivalry between oil and natural gas producers, which could "have deep and long-lasting consequences" beyond MENA.

2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis

On 5 June 2017, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt had officially cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. Saudi Arabia said it took the decision to cut diplomatic ties due to Qatar's "embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilising the region", including the Muslim Brotherhood,
al-Qaeda Al-Qaeda (; , ) is an Islamic extremist organization composed of Salafist jihadists. Its members are mostly composed of Arabs, but also include other peoples. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military targets in various count ...
, ISIL and Iran-supported groups in Saudi Arabia's eastern province of Qatif. Political researcher Islam Hassan viewed this as a continuation of Qatar's foreign policy rivalry with Saudi Arabia and UAE. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain put a ban on Qataris and their businesses. Qataris were not allowed to enter or live in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, or Bahrain, unless they have a spouse living there, and they must carry a visa in order to enter these countries. Qatar Airways aircraft were also not allowed to fly over these countries. Saudi Arabia stated that they would turn its land border into a canal, known as the Salwa Canal in 2018. The plan was abandoned in 2019. On 4 January 2021, Kuwait National TV announced that Saudi Arabia would restore all diplomatic ties with Qatar, air space would be opened for Qatari aircraft and the reopening of the Qatar - Saudi land border. Later that evening, it was announced that Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt agreed to restore ties with Qatar. On 4 January 2021 it was made official at the Al-Ula summit, where the blockading countries, along with Qatar, signed an official agreement and ended the rift after 3 years and 7 months.

GCC and US-GCC Summit meetings

2022 US-GCC Summit

Related states

Since the creation of the council in 1981 its membership has not expanded, with all members being Arab monarchies.Yahoo! Some GCC countries have land borders with Iraq, Jordan or Yemen, and sea borders with Iran,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered by the Medit ...
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān, officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It shares borders with the Central African Republic ...
Eritrea Eritrea ( ; ti, ኤርትራ, Ertra, ; ar, إرتريا, ʾIritriyā), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of Eastern Africa, with its capital and largest city at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopi ...
Somalia Somalia, , Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitut ...


Only the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, , cop, Ⲥⲓⲛⲁ), is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a ...
of Egypt lies in the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian P ...
. In 2011, Bahrain's Foreign Minister called for Egypt to be admitted as a member of the GCC.


Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...
is the only Arab country bordering the Persian Gulf that is not a member of the GCC, despite the societal, political and historical differences between Iraq and its neighboring Gulf states, in 2012, former Iraqi Defence Minister Saadoun Al-Dulaimi stated that Iraq wanted to join the GCC. Kuwait supported Iraq joining the GCC, however no progress has been made.


At the December 2012 Manama summit, the GCC states called for an end to Iranian interference in their internal affairs.

Jordan and Morocco

In May 2011, Jordan's request to join the GCC, which had been first submitted 15 years earlier, was accepted and Morocco was invited to join the union. In September 2011, a five-year economic plan for both countries was put forward after a meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries and those of the GCC states. Although a plan for accession was being looked into, it was noted that there was no timetable for either's accession, and that discussions would continue. As Jordan and Morocco are the only two Arabic-speaking monarchies not currently in the council, the current members see them as strong potential allies. Jordan borders Saudi Arabia and is economically connected to the Persian Gulf States. Although Morocco is not near the Persian Gulf, the Moroccan foreign minister Taieb Fassi Fihri notes that "geographical distance is no obstacle to a strong relationship".


Yemen was in negotiations for GCC membership, and hoped to join by 2015. Although it has no coastline on the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī), is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The bod ...
, Yemen lies in the Arabian Peninsula and shares a common culture and history with other GCC members. In May 2017, the Gulf Cooperation Council rejected the formation of a transitional political council in southern Yemen, which called for the separation of Southern Yemen, siding with Yemen President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in doing so.

Related organizations

The GCC members and Yemen are also members of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA). However, this is unlikely to affect the agenda of the GCC significantly as it has a more aggressive timetable than GAFTA and is seeking greater integration.

See also

Arab League The Arab League ( ar, الجامعة العربية, ' ), formally the League of Arab States ( ar, جامعة الدول العربية, '), is a regional organization in the Arab world, which is located in Northern Africa, Western Africa ...
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian P ...
* BankMuscat Direct * Eastern Arabia * Peninsula Shield Force * Khaleeji (currency) * Gulf Railway * Qatar diplomatic crisis



Further reading

* * Bianco, C. (2020a). The GCC monarchies: Perceptions of the Iranian threat amid shifting geopolitics. The International Spectator, 55(2), 92–107. * Bianco, C. (2020b). A Gulf apart: How Europe can gain influence with the Gulf Cooperation Council. European Council on Foreign Relations, February 2020. Available at https://ecfr.eu/archive/page/-/a_gulf_apart_how_europe_can_gain_influence_with_gulf_cooperation_council.pdf. * Bianco, C. (2021). Can Europe Choreograph a Saudi-Iranian Détente? European University Institute, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies, Middle East Directions. Available at: https://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/70351/PB_2021_10-MED.pdf?sequence=1. * Bianco, C., & Stansfield, G. (2018). The intra-GCC crises: Mapping GCC fragmentation after 2011. International Affairs, 94(3), 613–635. * Miniaoui, Héla, ed. Economic Development in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: From Rentier States to Diversified Economies. Vol. 1. Springer Nature, 2020. * Guzansky, Y., & Even, S. (2020). The economic crisis in the Gulf States: A challenge to the "contract" between rulers and ruled. INSS Insight No. 1327, June 1, 2020. Available at https://www.INSS.org.il/publication/gulf-states-economy/?offset=7&posts=201&outher=Yoel%20Guzansky. * Guzansky, Y., & Marshall, Z. A. (2020). The Abraham accords: Immediate significance and long-term implications. Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, 1–11. * Guzansky, Y., & Segal, E. (2020). All in the family: Leadership changes in the Gulf. INSS Insight No. 1378, August 30, 2020. Available at: https://www.INSS.org.il/publication/gulf-royal-families/?offset=1&posts=201&outher=Yoel%20Guzansky * Guzansky, Y., & Winter, O. (2020). Apolitical Normalization: A New Approach to Jews in Arab States. INSS Insight No. 1332, June 8, 2020. Available at: https://www.INSS.org.il/publication/judaism-in-the-arab-world/?offset=5&posts=201&outher=Yoel%20Guzansky. * see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/290349218_The_political_algebra_of_global_value_change_General_models_and_implications_for_the_Muslim_world * * Woertz, Eckart. "Wither the self-sufficiency illusion? Food security in Arab Gulf States and the impact of COVID-19." Food Security 12.4 (2020): 757-760. * Zweiri, Mahjoob, Md Mizanur Rahman, and Arwa Kamal, eds. The 2017 Gulf Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Vol. 3. Springer Nature, 2020.

External links

The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC)
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