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Mon 22 Aug 2011 08:25 AM

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Dubai police chief urges Interpol agency for Gulf

Better security cooperation is needed between six GCC nations, says Dahi Khalfan

Dubai police chief urges Interpol agency for Gulf
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Bin Tamim, head of general security for the Emirate of Dubai. (Getty Images)

Dahi Khalfan, Dubai’s chief of police, has called for the creation of an Interpol-like agency for the six nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Khalfan, who said he has made the proposal to the Gulf Council, expressed the need for increased security cooperation among Gulf countries.

Theodore Karasik, director of research at Dubai’s Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said the Gulf may fear a resurgence of political unrest after Ramadan.   

“Anything that gives more publicity and public acknowledgement to the Interpol system is good in terms of what is ongoing in and around the region, as we move forward during the Arab revolts,” said Karasik. “In terms of the timing, it’s nearing the end of Ramadan and it is predicted to be a hot fall, so the sooner [such an agency is in place] the better.”

Any agency would likely build on existing synergies in place between the Gulf’s security organisations, he added.

“There is already in place a more private network that is able to track certain individuals when they come into the GCC arena and that was demonstrated as early as 2004,” when Doha arrested three Russian intelligence agents in connection with the murder of a Chechen separatist leader.

“So there is a rudimentary system there,” he said.

A number of Gulf states have tightened their border security in the wake of the Arab Spring revolts that toppled rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, and caused widespread unrest in Bahrain.

Kuwait in May barred nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan from entering the country over fears political instability in those nations could pose a risk to its security.

Bahrain’s flag carrier Gulf Air also suspended flights to Lebanon, Iran and Iraq in March at the height of its uprising, after what was described as “irresponsible comments” by the countries.

The Gulf state has repeatedly spoken out against “blatant Iranian meddling”, which led to the expulsion of Iran’s charge d'affaires in March.

Qatar last week toughened entry rules for Algerian nationals living in the Gulf, in what was reported to be a response to Algeria’s neutral stance over the Libyan revolution.

*With agencies