GCC Eyes Jordan and Morocco for Expansion
Jordan and Morocco may be joining the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Gulf News reported Wednesday.
The summit-shaking proposal, announced at the annual Consultative Summit of the GCC, comes as the six-member council also discusses plans for creating a unified diplomatic and military confederation. The current members are Saudi arabia, Oman, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.
Shaikh Jaber Al Khalifa, a political analyst, noted the move would unite all eight Arab monarchies in a single alliance.
When political systems with common visions and ideas work together," Al Khalifa explaind. "You should expect good results because they are not held back by divergent political ideologies."
"The expansion of the only Arab alliance that has survived for almost 30 years should yield great outcomes. However, the integration should be gradual in order not to make mistakes or cause problems," Khalifa said.
Traditions and social norms are shared by Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Khalifa pointed out.
"It is colonialism that divided tribes and people through imposing borders," Khalifa elaborated. "Tribes have been divided into two and more countries. There are families for instance in Aqaba, Jordan, that have close family relations with families in Saudi Arabia."
If successful, Israel could find a unified Arab diplomatic and military confederation across the Jordan river. What Jordan's inclusion in the GCC, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, would spell for the 1995 peace accord between Jordan and Israel is not clear.
Some observers are skeptical of the proposed expansion's success, however.
“We have close ties with Jordan, a country that has been familiar to us over the years,” one Arab observer at the conference said.
“The integration of Jordan, however, looks much easier than that of Morocco, a distant country about which we do not know much. We have nothing against Morocco, but we need to move more carefully here.”