Saudi Arabia is keen on the unity and cohesion among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members. It is committed to carrying out its duty on the basis of the bonds of brotherhood, religion, and a common destiny.
During the 41 years ever since the creation of the GCC; the Kingdom’s policy depends on what is referred to as the strategic depth and its role as the Arab, Islamic and international heavyweight.
Since the establishment of GCC in 1981, the Kingdom has embarked on a balanced approach that supports every effort. Besides, reinforcing every action that contributes to achieving common goals and realizing aspirations. In its capacity as the elder sister among the GCC countries; the Kingdom worked toward overcoming various obstacles and disagreements that stand in the way of the ongoing march; whether it occurs either in viewpoints or on the ground. This is because the Saudi policy has ensured the preservation of unity in the Gulf ranks.
It has supported member states to reach settlements and viable solutions to the Gulf-Gulf differences. Besides, backing the continuity of cooperation with Arab and Islamic and other countries.
Bonds of interdependence
Saudi Arabia has been providing everything that would strengthen the bonds of interdependence between the GCC states. Besides, deepening cooperation in order to reach an accomplished unity in various political, economic, social, cultural, and other fields. This is by mobilizing the energies of the state in accordance with well-thought-out plans to achieve interests. Besides, preserving the achievements and maintain a civilized balance.
The efforts and determination of the Saudi leadership were deep-rooted with their brothers — the leaders of the GCC countries — in order to support the march of this entity through its Supreme Council sessions or “summit conferences.” This was with the support of the concerned agencies that had an important role in making fruitful decisions. This in order to strengthen ties and drawing up strategies, building successful relationships with others, and addressing obstacles and hurdles.
The Kingdom has expedited the execution of many decisions. The GCC adopted many decisions that aimed to deepen the bonds of brotherhood between the peoples of the GCC countries; strengthening its unity through economic, commercial, and monetary activities; and coordinating foreign policies pertaining to the Arab, Islamic and international issues.
The Saudi positions toward the GCC countries varied in multiple forms but there is firmness in its sole goal; which is the unity in the Gulf ranks and the rejection of Gulf/Gulf differences.
When we look back at the Kingdom’s dignified political history in the march of the GCC; we must remember that King Fahd answered the call of the brothers from the State of Kuwait after the Iraqi forces entered Kuwait and occupied its territories. This was the strong position embodied by the strength of cohesion and unity of destiny between the Kingdom and Kuwait; which extended until returning the land of Kuwait safely to its people.
When King Fahd visited Kuwait after the liberation; he said in a press statement: “The GCC embodied its close solidarity during the painful suffering that the people of Kuwait subjected to due to the aggression of the ruler of Iraq and the resulting destruction of the economy and infrastructure, but God wanted injustice not to continue, falsehood not to prevail, and aggression not to last.”
King Fahd continued: “Greetings from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the government and people, to the State of Kuwait, the emir, government, and people. We, from the liberated land of Kuwait, renew our determination to redouble efforts in the field of cooperation, coordination, and consultation in order to continue endeavors to build our peoples and societies in a sound manner.”
At the conclusion of the 32nd session of the Supreme Council; hosted by Riyadh, the leaders of the GCC states welcomed the proposal submitted by King Abdullah, president of the session, to the Supreme Council in his opening speech regarding the transition from the phase of cooperation to the phase of the union.
On the basis of the conviction of the leaders of the GCC states in the importance of this proposal; and in line with what was stipulated in Article four of the Basic Law of GCC regarding; achieving coordination, integration, and interdependence among the member states in all fields to reach their unity; and after exchanging views on the proposal, the leaders directed the ministerial council to form a specialized body; with three members from each country to be selected by the member states. This body was to study proposals from all aspects in light of the opinions that were exchanged between the leaders. The meetings of the body shall be at the headquarters of the General Secretariat. And all the administrative, technical, and financial capabilities it requires are to be provided by the General Secretariat.
During the outbreak of demonstrations in Bahrain in February 2011, Saudi Arabia stood like an impregnable dam against all that could affect Bahrain’s leadership and people, in line with its commitment to the unity in the Gulf ranks as one body. This position was manifested in the statement of the official source who confirmed that Saudi Arabia was following with keenness the developments in Bahrain, and at the same time, it hoped that calm and stability would return to its territories under its wise leadership. The source appealed to the Bahraini people for wisdom in presenting their visions and to accept what the government of Bahrain has proposed.
Absolute rejection of any foreign interference
The Saudi government also affirmed its absolute rejection of any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain from any party. The people of Bahrain and its government were keen on protecting their homeland, and its stability and security, and that Saudi Arabia stood with all its capabilities behind the state and people of Bahrain.
At that time, Prince Naif, second deputy premier and minister of interior, made a phone call to King Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain, in which Prince Naif affirmed that Saudi Arabia would stand by the government and people of Bahrain against everything that affects its security, stability and national unity. He hailed the development and growth that Bahrain is witnessing in various fields; wishing Bahrain would continue progress and prosperity under its wise leadership.
The 26th session of the GCC Supreme Council held on Dec. 18-19, 2005 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, was named as “King Fahd Summit”, and this was in appreciation of the great achievements and efforts he has made to strengthen the march of the GCC and fulfill the aspirations of its people, and in recognition of his role in serving Arab, Islamic and the international community.
The GCC headquarters was open during the eighth session of the Supreme Council held in Riyadh on Dec. 26-29, 1987. Presiding over the summit; King Fahd said: “There is no doubt that it is a precious occasion, and more precious than the building is the meeting of the leaders of the GCC states on this night.”
On Nov. 27, 1999, King Fahd inaugurated the 20the session of the GCC summit at the Diriyah Palace in Riyadh. Addressing the session, King Fahd said: “The acceleration and development of international events in our era are heavy and strong in their impact on all countries of the world that we are a part of it, and this fact makes us realize that we are not immune from the effects of that transformation.
Therefore we have to read the future possibilities and prepare for them by putting our trust in God and visualize the events with an alert mind. In the absence of this, we will be remaining on the sidelines, observing them helplessly. Whoever does not understand the reasons, define the goals and present the means to achieve them will remain among the group of those affected and not the influential; which is what we want to distance our countries and peoples from.”
Gulf region bounties
The King added: “Our Gulf region has many bounties, and God singled it out for the strategic location, and it was and still is the focus of attention from everywhere. Unless we can achieve a unified Arab force; the least that we must achieve is a comprehensive military unity for our Gulf region. This enables us not to remain the security of our countries and peoples depend on the whims and international interests. This is a situation that we do not accept for our countries and peoples.”
In appreciation of the leaders of the GCC countries and lauding the support they provided to its march; Saudi Arabia took initiative to name 27th GCC summit after Sheikh Jaber, held in Riyadh on Dec. 9, 2006.
The year 2016 witnessed the establishment of the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council; within an agreement inked between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In line with the directives of King Salman and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the president of UAE; the agreement was signed with the objective of achieving a common vision centered on highlighting the status of the two countries in the fields of economy, human development, political and military security integration. This is in order to achieve the well-being of the people of the two countries.
Saudi-Emirati integration system
Seven joint committees are working within the Saudi-Emirati integration system in the development and economic fields. This is to implement a number of strategic and development initiatives and projects. And so to achieve prosperity and security for the peoples of the two countries. In order to activate the common vision between the Kingdom and the UAE. Besides, intensifying bilateral cooperation on issues of common interest; a number of complementary committees support the realization of those visions and ideas. This is to create a better future for the citizens of the two countries and overcoming obstacles in all fields.
Saudi Arabia continues its regional and international influence and position; with full awareness about its pioneering role in protecting and fortifying the unity of all GCC states. To strengthen the Gulf unity, its primary aim is to protect Gulf security. This is to make it an impregnable barrier against any attempts to undermine its security. Besides, preserving its gains and the achievements of its integration path. In addition to push forward efforts to achieve the lofty goals stipulated in the Basic Law of the Cooperation Council.