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The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf ( ar|مجلس التعاون لدول الخليج العربية), originally (and still colloquially) known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, ), is a
regional In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental geography). Geographic reg ...
intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all
Arab states of the Persian Gulf#REDIRECT Arab states of the Persian Gulf#REDIRECT Arab states of the Persian Gulf {{R from move ...
{{R from move ...
-
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar|البحرين|al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar|مملكة البحرين|links=no '), is a country in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 51 natural isl ...
,
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 north ...
,
Oman Oman ( ; ar|عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar|سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Located in a s ...

Oman
,
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar|قطر ' ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar ( ar|دولة قطر '), is a country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peni ...
,
Saudi Arabia (Shahada) | national_anthem = "" "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" | image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg | capital = Riyadh | coordinates = | largest_city = Riyadh | official_languages = Arabic | languages_type = Spoken l ...
, and the
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: الإمارات العربية المتحدة '), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات '), is a country in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It b ...
- except for
Iraq Iraq ( ar|ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku|عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar|جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku|کۆماری عێراق '), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to th ...
. The Charter of the GCC was signed on 25 May 1981, formally establishing the institution. All current member states are
monarchies A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic (crowned republic), to restricted (con ...
, including three
constitutional monarchies A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchies differ from absolute monarchies (in which a monarch holds absolute ...
(Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain), two
absolute monarchies Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monarchies. In co ...
(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 the ...
(the United Arab Emirates, which is composed of seven member states, each of which is an absolute monarchy with its own
emir An emir (; ar|أمير ' ), sometimes transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, can refer to a king or an aristocratic or noble and military title of high office used in a variety of places in the Arab countries, West Africa, Afghanistan and in the ...
). There have been discussions regarding the future membership of
Jordan Jordan ( ar|الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ( ar|المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية; tr. '), is an Arab country in the Levant region of Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan ...
,
Morocco ) | image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg | map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a territory claimed and occupied mostly by Moro ...
, and
Yemen ) | image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg | map_caption = | image_map2 = | capital = Sana'a (''De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital in exile) | coordinates = |capital_exile = Riyadh (presidential administration) | largest_city ...
. A proposal in 2011 to transform the GCC into a "Gulf Union" with tighter economic, political and military coordination was advanced by Saudi Arabia, a move meant to counterbalance the
Iran Iran ( fa|ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa|جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by ...
ian influence in the region. Objections were raised against the proposal by other countries. In 2014, Bahrain prime minister
Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa ( ar| خليفة بن سلمان آل خليفة) (20 November 1935 – 11 November 2020) was a Bahraini royal and politician who had served as the Prime Minister of Bahrain from 10 January 1970 until his de ...
said that current events in the region highlighted the importance of the proposal. The
Peninsula Shield Force The Peninsula Shield Force (or ''Peninsula Shield''; ar|دِرْعُ الجَزيرَة ''Dirʿ al-Jazīra'') is the military arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is intended to deter, and respond to, military aggression against any of ...
is the military arm of the GCC, formed in 1984. In order to reduce their future dependence on oil, the GCC states are pursuing unprecedented economic structural reform.


Founding

The original union comprised
Bahrain Bahrain ( ; ar|البحرين|al-Baḥrayn, , locally ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain ( ar|مملكة البحرين|links=no '), is a country in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 51 natural isl ...
,
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 north ...
,
Oman Oman ( ; ar|عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar|سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Located in a s ...

Oman
,
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar|قطر ' ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar ( ar|دولة قطر '), is a country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peni ...
,
Saudi Arabia (Shahada) | national_anthem = "" "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" | image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg | capital = Riyadh | coordinates = | largest_city = Riyadh | official_languages = Arabic | languages_type = Spoken l ...
and the
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; Arabic: الإمارات العربية المتحدة '), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات '), is a country in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It b ...
(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" or "Gulf countries".


Objectives

In 2001, the GCC Supreme Council set the following goals: *
Customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff.GATTArticle 24 s. 8 (a) Customs unions are established through trade pacts where the participant countries set up co ...
in January 2003 *
Common market#REDIRECT Single market {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
by 2007 * Common currency by 2010
Oman Oman ( ; ar|عُمَان ' ), officially the Sultanate of Oman ( ar|سلْطنةُ عُمان ), is a country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia and the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Located in a s ...

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 Riyadh ( ar|الرياض|'ar-Riyāḍ, lit.: 'The Gardens' Najdi pronunciation: ) is the capital of Saudi Arabia and the largest city on the Arabian Peninsula. Located in the center of the an-Nafud desert, on the eastern part of the Najd platea ...
, Saudi Arabia, and not in the UAE, the UAE announced their withdrawal from the monetary union project in May 2009. The name Khaleeji has been proposed as a name for this currency. If realised, 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 The Peninsula Shield Force (or ''Peninsula Shield''; ar|دِرْعُ الجَزيرَة ''Dirʿ al-Jazīra'') is the military arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is intended to deter, and respond to, military aggression against any of ...
) * Encouraging cooperation of the private sector. * Strengthening ties between their people. This area has some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, mostly due to a boom in
oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance that is a viscous liquid at ambient temperatures and is both hydrophobic (does not mix with water, literally "water fearing") and lipophilic (mixes with other oils, literally "fat loving"). Oils have a ...
and
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carb ...
revenues coupled with a building and investment boom backed by decades of saved
petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separate ...
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 also have several hundreds of billions of dollars of assets under management. The region is an emerging hotspot for events, including the
2006 Asian Games) | Host city = Doha, Qatar | Nations participating = 45 | Athletes participating = 9,520 | Events = 424 in 39 sports | Opening ceremony = 1 December | Closing ceremony = 15 December | Officially open ...
in
Doha Doha ( ar|الدوحة, ' or ''ad-Dōḥa'', ) is the capital and most populous city of Qatar. It has a population of 956,460 (2015). The city is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country, north of Al Wakrah and south of ...

Doha
,
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar|قطر ' ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar ( ar|دولة قطر '), is a country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peni ...
. Doha also submitted an unsuccessful application for the
2016 Summer Olympics ) | nations = 207 | athletes = 11,238 | events = 306 in 28 sports (41 disciplines) | opening = 5 August | closing = 21 August | opened_by = Acting president Michel Temer | cauldron = Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima | stadium ...
. Qatar was later chosen to host the
2022 FIFA World Cup The 2022 FIFA World Cup ( ar|2022 كأس العالم لكرة القدم, '')'' is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men's association football championship contested by the national teams of ...
. 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.


Logo

The logo of the GCC consists of two concentric circles. On the upper part of the larger circle, the
Bismillah
Bismillah
phrase is written in
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C. E.Wats ...
, which means "In the name of God", and on the lower part the Council's full name, in Arabic. The inner circle contains an embossed hexagonal shape that represents the Council's six member countries. The inside of the hexagon is filled by a map encompassing the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar|شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the A ...
, on which the areas of the member countries are borderless and colored in brown. On the edge of the hexagon are colors representing the flags of the six member countries.


Economy


Internal market

A
common market#REDIRECT Single market {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
was launched on 1 January 2008 with plans to realise a fully integrated
single market#REDIRECT Single market#REDIRECT Single market {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
. It eased the movement of goods and services. However, implementation lagged behind after the 2009 financial crisis. The creation of a customs union began in 2003 and was completed and fully operational on 1 January 2015. In January 2015, the
common market#REDIRECT Single market {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
was also further integrated, allowing full equality among GCC citizens to work in the government and private sectors, social insurance and retirement coverage, real estate ownership, capital movement, 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 European Economic Community composed of a basket of member country currencies. The ECU came in to operation on 13 March 1979, and was assigned the ISO 4217 code. The ...
(ECU) was long used beforehand 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 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 In corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are transactions in which the ownership of companies, other business organizations, or their operating units are transferred or consolidated with other entities. As an aspect of strategic mana ...
(M&A). Since 1999, more than 5,200 transactions with a known value of US$573 billion have been announced. They are active within GCC and in cross-border M&A abroad. The investor group includes in particular 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 as p ...
s.


Infrastructure

The GCC launched common economic projects to promote and facilitate integration. The 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 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. "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." stated, Ramiz Al Assar, Resident World Bank advisor for the GCC. Saudi Arabian Railways,
Etihad Rail Etihad Rail ( ar|الاتحاد للقطارات) is the United Arab Emirates national railway network. It was established in June 2009 under Federal Law No. 2 to manage the development, construction and operation of the United Arab Emirates' nati ...
, and national governments have poured billions 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 the member states. It is the highest decision-making entity of the GCC, setting its vision and goals. Decisions on substantive issues require unanimous approval, while issues on procedural matters require a majority. Each member state has one vote.


Ministerial Council

The Ministerial Council is composed of the Foreign Ministers of all the member states. It convenes every three months. It primarily formulates policies and makes recommendations to promote cooperation and achieve coordination among the member states when implementing ongoing projects. Its decisions are submitted in the form of recommendations for the approval of the Supreme Council. 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 action. It prepares periodical reports regarding the work done by the GCC as a whole and regarding 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 choosing 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. Difference in titles In some nations, such as India, the ...
said on 8 December 2009 that a single currency may take up to ten years to establish. The original target was in 2010. 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 Riyadh ( ar|الرياض|'ar-Riyāḍ, lit.: 'The Gardens' Najdi pronunciation: ) is the capital of Saudi Arabia and the largest city on the Arabian Peninsula. Located in the center of the an-Nafud desert, on the eastern part of the Najd platea ...
,
Saudi Arabia (Shahada) | national_anthem = "" "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" | image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg | capital = Riyadh | coordinates = | largest_city = Riyadh | official_languages = Arabic | languages_type = Spoken l ...
. Applications are filed and prosecuted in the
Arabic language Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C. E.Wats ...

Arabic language
before the GCC Patent Office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is a separate office from the Saudi Arabian Patent Office. The GCC Patent Office grants patents valid in all GCC member states. The first GCC patent was granted in 2002. As of 2013, it employed about 30 [[Patent examiner|patent examiners.


Peninsula Shield Force

Amidst the [[Bahraini uprising (2011–present)|Bahraini uprising, Saudi Arabia and the UAE sent [[Peninsula Shield Force|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 unit. The secretary-general of the GCC strongly endorsed the [[2011 military intervention in Libya|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, plus pending member Jordan, commenced air operations against [[Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, however, are among the states that oppose the [[Muslim Brotherhood 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.


GCC Standardization Organization (GSO)

This is the standardization organization of the GCC, and
Yemen ) | image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg | map_caption = | image_map2 = | capital = Sana'a (''De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital in exile) | coordinates = |capital_exile = Riyadh (presidential administration) | largest_city ...
also belongs to this organization.


Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC)

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.


Secretaries-General


Member states

There are 6 [[member states of the union:


Sports

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 to boost youth and sports initiatives in the region; in 2015, this gathering was held for the 29th time. 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 GCC Games|2011. There are numerous long-running GCC Championships for individual sports, including: the [[Gulf Cooperation Council Athletics Championships (first held in 1986; [[Gulf Cooperation Council Youth Athletics Championships|youth section from 2000) sailing, basketball, swimming, tennis, gymnastics (senior and youth levels), weightlifting, futsal, snooker, and table tennis.


2014 Saudi–Qatari rift

Qatar's support for the [[Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East-North Africa ([[MENA) region, [[Hamas and radical Islamists in Libya has led to increasing tensions with other
Arab states of the Persian Gulf#REDIRECT Arab states of the Persian Gulf#REDIRECT Arab states of the Persian Gulf {{R from move ...
{{R from move ...
. These tensions came to a head during a March 2014 meeting of the GCC, after which the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced the recall of 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 Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carb ...
producers, which could "have deep and long-lasting consequences" beyond MENA.


2017 Rift with Qatar

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-Qaida, 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 these countries unless they have a spouse living there, or they must carry a visa in order to enter these countries. On January 6, 2021, Saudia, Bahrain, the U. A. E., and Egypt agreed to restore ties with Qatar at the Al-Ula 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 Iraq ( ar|ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku|عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar|جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku|کۆماری عێراق '), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to th ...
,
Jordan Jordan ( ar|الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ( ar|المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية; tr. '), is an Arab country in the Levant region of Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan ...
or
Yemen ) | image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg | map_caption = | image_map2 = | capital = Sana'a (''De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital in exile) | coordinates = |capital_exile = Riyadh (presidential administration) | largest_city ...
, and sea borders with
Iran Iran ( fa|ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa|جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by ...
, [[Egypt, [[Sudan, [[Eritrea or [[Somalia.


Egypt

Only the [[Sinai peninsula of Egypt lies in the [[Arabian peninsula. In 2011, Bahrain's Foreign Minister called for [[Egypt to be admitted as a member of the GCC.


Iraq

Iraq Iraq ( ar|ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku|عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar|جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku|کۆماری عێراق '), is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to th ...
is the only Arab country bordering the Persian Gulf that is not a member of the GCC. In 2012, Iraqi Defence Minister [[Saadoun al-Dulaimi stated that Iraq wanted to join the GCC. Kuwait supports Iraq joining the GCC. The lack of membership of Iraq is widely believed to be due to the low-income economy, its substantial Shia population, its republican political system, and its [[invasion of Kuwait|invasion of member state Kuwait during the [[Gulf War.


Iran

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 Jordan ( ar|الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ( ar|المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية; tr. '), is an Arab country in the Levant region of Western Asia, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan ...
's request to join the GCC, which had been first submitted 15 years earlier, was accepted and
Morocco ) | image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg | map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a territory claimed and occupied mostly by Moro ...
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

Yemen ) | image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg | map_caption = | image_map2 = | capital = Sana'a (''De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital in exile) | coordinates = |capital_exile = Riyadh (presidential administration) | largest_city ...
was in negotiations for GCC membership, and hoped to join by 2015. Although it has no coastline on the [[Persian Gulf, Yemen lies in the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar|شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the A ...
and shares a common culture and history with other GCC members. The GCC has already approved Yemen's accession to the GCC Standardization Authority, [[Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC), GCC Auditing and Accounting Authority, Gulf Radio and TV Authority, GCC Council of Health Ministers, GCC Education and Training Bureau, GCC Council of Labour and Social Affairs Ministers, and [[Gulf Cup of Nations|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. In May 2017, the Gulf Cooperation Council rejected the formation of a [[Southern Transitional Council|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 Cooperation Council *
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar|شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the A ...
*
Peninsula Shield Force The Peninsula Shield Force (or ''Peninsula Shield''; ar|دِرْعُ الجَزيرَة ''Dirʿ al-Jazīra'') is the military arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is intended to deter, and respond to, military aggression against any of ...
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Arab states of the Persian Gulf#REDIRECT Arab states of the Persian Gulf#REDIRECT Arab states of the Persian Gulf {{R from move ...
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* [[Arab League–Iran relations * [[2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis * [[U.S.–Middle East Free Trade Area (US-MEFTA) * [[Euro-Mediterranean free trade area (EU-MEFTA) * [[Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) * Khaleeji, the Council's proposed currency * [[Gulf Railway * [[Middle East economic integration * [[Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) * [[Levant Quartet * [[Intergovernmental Authority on Development *[[Rules of Origin *[[Market access *[[Free-trade area *[[Tariffs


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Further reading

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External links

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The Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC)
{{Authority control [[Category:Gulf Cooperation Council| [[Category:1981 establishments in the United Arab Emirates [[Category:1981 in economics [[Category:Arabian Peninsula [[Category:Articles containing video clips [[Category:Continental unions [[Category:Customs unions [[Category:Economic integration [[Category:Intellectual property organizations [[Category:Intergovernmental organizations established by treaty [[Category:International economic organizations [[Category:International organizations based in Asia [[Category:International organizations based in the Middle East [[Category:Organizations established in 1981 [[Category:Pan-Arabism [[Category:Proposed currencies [[Category:Supranational unions [[Category:Trade blocs [[Category:Bahrain–Iran relations [[Category:Iran–Kuwait relations [[Category:Iran–Oman relations [[Category:Iran–Qatar relations [[Category:Iran–Saudi Arabia relations [[Category:Iran–Saudi Arabia military relations [[Category:Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict [[Category:Iran–United Arab Emirates relations [[bn:উপসাগরীয় সহযোগী সংস্থা