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Middle east

Morocco and Jordan bid to join Gulf Cooperation Council

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-10

Morocco and Jordan have applied to join the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the bloc is now is considering bids their application, the group's secretary general said on Tuesday. The bid is seen as an effort to counter regional unrest.

REUTERS - The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering requests by Morocco and Jordan to join its Gulf Arab political bloc, the group’s secretary general said in on Tuesday, in a move seen aimed at countering regional unrest.

GCC foreign ministers will hold talks with the foreign ministers of both non-Gulf countries to “complete required procedures”, but it was unclear what kind of membership they were considering, Abdullatif al-Zayani told reporters after a GCC summit in Riyadh.

 
Analysts said the unexpected announcement of the request by the two Arab countries may be a sign that Gulf leaders are seeking to cement ties with other monarchies against a wave of popular protests that have swept the Arab world.
 
“The GCC is increasing its more muscular role in foreign policy ... they are leading the counter revolution and it makes more sense for them to join with other Arab autocracies,” said Shadi Hamid, director of the Brookings Doha Centre.
 
“Arab autocracies are trying to diversify aid sources away from the United States and other players that might be more concerned with their rights and democracy record,” he said.
 
Hamid suggested they might be considering a two-tiered membership system. He and other observers suggested the partnership with the oil exporting region might be an economic boon to the two non-Gulf monarchies which have faced unrest in past few months.

 

Date created : 2011-05-10

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