- The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia has separated from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
- The two countries have announced the formation of a new economic and partnership group ‘joint cooperation committee’ at GCC summit in Kuwait city.
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL
- GCC was a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries- UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain
- The council was established in 1981 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with the aim to achieve unity among its members based on their similar political and cultural identities, which are rooted in Islamic beliefs.
JOINT COOPERATION COMMITTEE
- The upcoming committee is assigned to cooperate and coordinate between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in all economic, political, military, trade and cultural fields, in the interest of the two nations.
- The committee is the result of the closer relations between UAE and Saudi Arabia as Emirati troops are deeply involved in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is also having closer relations with Saudi Arabia’s young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
DOHA ISSUE IN GCC MEETING
- The GCC meeting was expected to focus on the Qatar issue.
- The dispute began in June when a growing number of nations- Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Egypt, and Maldives had severed their ties with Qatar pointing to Doha’s alleged terrorist ties and their own national security.
- After that, GCC member nations- Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain closed off their airspace and seaports to Qatar as well as the land border with Saudi Arabia.
- Till now, it is not clear how the possible development could affect the GCC meeting, as well as on the other side Saudi Arabia, has not made any comment on the UAE announcement
- However, the Emirati announcement did not clear whether any other Gulf Arab countries would be invited to join the new group.