GCC mulls regional police force

Secretary-general says council wants unit similar to Europol to tackle terrorism, major crime
Qatari police men take part in a military parade during the Gulf emirates National Day celebrations in Doha on December 18, 2011. (AFP/Getty Images)
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 30 Oct 2013 03:30 PM

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is considering establishing a Gulf-wide police force similar to Europol, the bloc's secretary-general has reportedly revealed.

The unified police force would tackle regional issues such as terrorism and serious organised crime, secretary-general Abdullatif Al Zayani was quoted as saying.

GCC countries could only properly defend themselves while acting as a collective unit, he claimed.

"One of our strategic goals is to secure the GCC against all threats, specifically acts such as terrorism and external aggression," Al Zayani told Bahraini newspaper Gulf Daily News.

"To deal with this, we are considering establishing a GCCPOL, similar to Europol.

"The GCCPOL will help in dealing with serious organised crime. Any attack on one is an attack on all and any tension should be resolved through political dialogue and cooperation between GCC leaders and allies.”

The GCC recently established an emergency risk management centre based in Kuwait to help advise leaders on regional or anticipated threats and coordinate disaster emergency relief in the region.

Al Zayani said the council also was discussing how to boost the capabilities of the GCC’s military arm, the Peninsular Shield Forces, to respond to external threats.

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