Persian Gulf: the collapse of
Material posted: Publication date: 13-03-2014

The exacerbation of internal contradictions between members of the cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) because of different estimates of recent changes in the Arab world casts a shadow on the relations of its members. So, some time later, after the meeting of foreign Ministers of the cooperation Council of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar.

The foreign Ministers of the GCC member States met on 4 March in Riyadh and expressed his opinion regarding the recent developments in the world and the region.

It was one hundred and thirtieth meeting of foreign Ministers of the cooperation Council, which was chaired by the head of the diplomatic office of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah.

According to the American news Agency United Press International, referring to the Secretary General of the cooperation Council Abdel Latif AZ-Zayani, Ministers of foreign Affairs had to consider the reports submitted by the Secretariat of the organization of, and latest regional and international developments, to develop on these issues a United position at the summit of leaders.

The meeting of leaders of member countries of the cooperation Council to be held on March 15th in Kuwait.
According to the same source, of 5 March, the foreign Ministers of the GCC member States in their final communiqué, made statements on several issues.

The Arab revolution is an internal call

The revolutionary movement that swept Arab countries since 2010, broke all political equilibrium in the Arab middle East and became a test of the efficiency of some regional structures, in particular of the cooperation Council.

In the gloom of the situation, the remaining Arab world inherited from the cold war, this organization lacked the necessary energy to counter the waves of social transformations, which are influenced by global changes, and assess regional issues in the old way.

The cooperation Council, which usually takes a defensive position against external challenges, with the beginning of the revolutionary movement in the Arab world are suddenly faced with a new challenge already within their member countries. It is in this atmosphere of exacerbated conflicts between members of the cooperation Council in their assessment of the revolutionary movements in the regional countries, especially in Bahrain, although they all agreed that it is necessary to prevent the dissemination process in their home countries.

On the other hand, after the outbreak of popular movements in these countries were in different situations. New conditions even more a divergence of the interests of members of the cooperation Council and their positions in relation to the development of the region and the Arab world in General.

This disagreement is particularly noticeable is seen in the relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, especially in how they evaluate the events in Egypt and Syria. Contradictions and polarity of interests between the two countries reached such heat that Saudi Arabia Qatar threatened to close its land and air borders.

Disagreements about the various support groups operating in several Arab countries, has already reached themselves of the GCC member States and expressed in the contrast of opinions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia together with United Arab Emirates about whether or not to help such groups as the "Muslim brotherhood".

Another problem, which became since the beginning of the protest movements in the Arab world a cause of division within the cooperation Council and caused the disagreement of some members with the domination in it of Saudi Arabia, was the recognition by the West of nuclear diplomacy of the new Iranian government.

In the new environment of cooperation between the six European countries and Tehran, which became possible after the formation of the Islamic Republic of Hassan Rouhani's Cabinet, some member countries of the GCC such as Oman and the United Arab Emirates, is trying to strengthen its relations with Iran. Apparently, these trends are contrary to the installation of Saudi Arabia to prevent the spreading influence of the Islamic Republic in the region and further exacerbate the conflict between members of the cooperation Council.

Therefore, it can be argued that the contradictions within the GCC, which is already experiencing problems from the point of view of the weak cohesion of its members became even more acute after the onset of the revolutionary process in the Arab countries.

Unsuccessful attempt of this organization to come to the first consensus on the reorganization of the Council of the Union, the emergence of media reports on the disagreement of some members (in particular, Oman and Qatar) the position of "big brother", which is Saudi Arabia, and the internal crises of the majority of member States (especially Saudi Arabia) because of the outbreak of the movements in the Arab world — all of this together testifies that the differences within the GCC is slowly smolder, like burning coals, is able to be rekindled by fire.

Thus, one hundred and thirtieth meeting of foreign Ministers of the cooperation Council was held in the setting of acute structural crisis of the organization and on the background of significant positional differences of its members. Despite all attempts to hide the internal contradictions on regional issues, the differences for him grew even more.

The meeting of Ministers and an attempt to switch attention from internal problems of the organization

At the meeting of foreign Ministers of the GCC was an attempt to temporarily put aside the issue of internal disputes, especially between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and to draw attention to regional problems.

In this regard the final communiqué of the meeting of Ministers of member countries of the cooperation Council, was devoted to a specific set of regional issues.


One of the topics discussed at the meeting of foreign Ministers of the GCC, was the situation in Syria. The failure of the negotiations of the so-called Geneva-2 and attempt to upset the balance of forces on the Syrian front became one of the most important items on which the participants tried to develop a common approach.

Stressing the need for Syrian authorities adhered to the rulings of the "Geneva-1" about formation of the transitional government, Ministers had called for holding an international negotiation with the aim of finding a speedy political solution to this crisis.

The communiqué also refers to the resolutions of the UN Security Council No. 2139, which refers to the lifting of the siege on Syrian cities and cease attacks on them, as well as to facilitate the passage of humanitarian convoys to help the Syrian people.

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia and Qatar hold the opposite views on support of factions of the Syrian opposition, however, thanks to the leadership of the United States, this contradiction has not yet resulted in open confrontation between the two countries.


The foreign Ministers of the GCC member States also stressed that continue to support Palestine and the creation of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.

The final communiqué condemned the measures of the occupying Israeli authorities continued construction of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank of the Jordan river, as well as recognized these actions in violation of international law.

The document also says: "the measure is aimed at stopping the process to establish a just and lasting peace, demonstrate the willfulness of Israel and the abuse of the law."


According to the London newspaper Al-Hayat dated 5 March, in the final communiqué of foreign Ministers of member countries of cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf emphasizes the importance of fulfilling the commitments that were spelled out in adopted by the European Iran and "six" on December 5, 2013 "the Programme of joint measures". The document also States that this measure can contribute to international confidence and eliminate concerns about Iran's nuclear program.

On the other hand, in the same communiqué, the GCC members noted that support the right of the United Arab Emirates over ownership of the Islands Abu Musa, lesser Tunb and greater Tunb in the Persian Gulf their territorial waters, airspace, continental plateau and the special economic zone, and all activity there by Iran, which considers the island its territory, is illegal.

The document also contains an appeal to Iran to respond to UAE efforts in addressing this territorial dispute through direct negotiations of representatives of the two States or the case was referred to the international court in the Hague. Thus, member countries of the cooperation Council ignored the fact that the Islamic Republic has provided to various international bodies legal documents and historical evidence confirming its ownership of these Islands.

The communiqué also contains a recommendation to Tehran to refrain from overt interference in the internal Affairs of Bahrain, although Iranian authorities have repeatedly stated about the artificiality of such charges.

Other development issues in the Arab world

The GCC expressed satisfaction with the compromise reached by the parties in Yemen in the past in this country the national Congress. The cooperation Council also welcomed the establishment of the new Lebanese government headed by Prime Minister Salam of Tamama and stressed that strictly defend their position against terrorism and extremism, regardless of what the goals are pursued.

Meanwhile, the situation tensed fundamental differences between Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the situation in Egypt and especially support by the authorities of the Doha of the organization "Muslim brotherhood". The result against Qatar was made by three States: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The controversy has reached such severity that the members of the cooperation Council are unable to achieve even the slightest consensus. Because of disagreements and conflicting interests, the debate lasted nine hours. As for the Minister of foreign Affairs of Bahrain, he left the meeting after three hours. For this reason, the final communiqué was drafted without considering the consensus of all participants. A few hours later after that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar.

However, according to information posted on the Lebanese news website El Nashra, of 5 March, and the statements of the three countries, the contradictions relate to the security Treaty signed between the member States of the cooperation Council, and Qatar is accused of its violation and inadequate implementation.

On this basis we can conclude that the meeting, which was supposed to offset the internal contradictions of the members of the GCC, was the reason for the occurrence of another good measure of tension in their relationship.


Contrary to the aspirations of the members of the cooperation Council temporarily to defer internal contradictions aside, to focus on regional issues, his meeting at the foreign Minister level ended with another big jump in tension.

Fundamental differences between the GCC members have become a cause of confrontation

For this reason, attempts by Saudi Arabia to turn into a Union Council of Arab States of the Persian Gulf is called the opposition of some countries, such as Oman and Qatar, and not supported other — United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Secure a Federal organization, Saudi Arabia is seeking to establish in the Arab world a strong bloc of Nations that use this method to expand their power. However this has been hampered by divisions between members of the cooperation Council and their fear of the desire of Riyadh to sole dominance.

Summarizing some results, it can be noted that the last meeting of foreign Ministers of the GCC member States took place under the influence of the processes taking place in the Arab world, and some of the international changes that had impact on the political situation in the Arab middle East, and was accompanied by a strong tension between the members of the organization. So at the end of the meeting representatives of member countries of the cooperation Council and failed all together to make a final statement, which, in turn, has exacerbated existing differences.

Source: InoSMI

Tags: Iran , assessment , Syria , Near East