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Sun 27 Nov 2016 02:54 PM

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Gulf countries may form union without Oman, says Bahraini official

Oman, who have previously expressed reservations about the proposal, rejected the idea when it was discussed in December 2013

Gulf countries may form union without Oman, says Bahraini official
(AFP/Getty Images)

Five Gulf countries could form a union without Oman, according to a senior official in Bahrain.

The discussion on the union will take place during a summit hosted Bahrain in December, Gulf News reported.  Oman, who have previously expressed reservations about the proposal, rejected the idea when it was discussed in December 2013.

“The proposal to launch the Gulf union will be on the agenda of the summit that bring together the leaders of the GCC,” Ganem Al Bu Ainain, Bahrain’s Minister of Parliament Affairs told London-based Al Hayat.

“The position of Oman vis-a-vis the union is well known and respected, but this should not freeze us. There might be a Gulf union and a Gulf Cooperation Council for those interested in the formulas,” he said.

The official said the Gulf union, if established, will be much more advanced than the cooperation council, giving the countries - Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE - a more advanced status than those limited to cooperation.

Bu Ainain said he sensed “great enthusiasm for the union from the other Gulf members,” adding the security drills held recently in Bahrain were a clear message from the GCC about their collective commitment.   

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