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Sun 8 Dec 2013 10:40 AM

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Oman "will withdraw" from GCC over security pact

Foreign Minister says Oman can't justify strengthening security ties with five other Gulf Cooperation Council states, will withdraw if plan goes ahead

Oman "will withdraw" from GCC over security pact

Oman will pull out of the Gulf Cooperation Council if a proposal to boost security collaboration between the six members goes ahead, the country’s foreign minister has said.

Two years ago, Saudi Arabia called for increased military, economic, political and security ties during a meeting between the six nations – which also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar.

Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar have expressed their support for the idea, while the UAE has not yet publicly commented.

But Omani Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdulla said the Gulf neighbours needed to focus on boosting economic ties.

The Gulf was not under imminent threat of a military attack and therefore Oman could not justify greater security cooperation, he said.

“We will not prevent a union, but if it happens we will not be part of it,” Alawi told AFP in the lead up to the GCC Summit, to be held in Kuwait on Tuesday.

If the proposal went ahead, “we will simply withdraw” from the new body, he said.

"We do not want to be part of the GCC union as it is not feasible to us," he said.

"We just can't do it. There are other important issues that require to be addressed such as economic integration that will bring prosperity to its people and [the] unemployment issue.

"The perception that GCC countries face imminent threat is myopic.”

GCC secretary-general Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani said Oman's opposition would not prevent the other five states from forming a union.

Ahsan 5 years ago

I think its a wise decision by Oman. Rest of the GCC states are under contant phobia of attack, first from Iran, Now WHO?

They need to understand that no body wants to attack them, everybody have there interests in GCC countries due to the fact there is lot of business activity going on. So guys kindly get back to normal life and instead of dealing with unseen security threats, try to innovate or create something on your own.

Mark X 5 years ago

A very wise decision by Oman. There are other more important things to take care of than worry about being attacked. Behave like neighbours with your neighbours.

procan 5 years ago

If western powers , all of them ( including private strike forces hidden in the desert ) pulled out of Gulf States there would serious security threats. At the very least the Western Expats would be uncomfortable the region would become unstable and vunerable.

Bill 5 years ago

Oman, as in the past, has taken a wise decision. Most of the times the GCC agrees to disagree with each other, particularly Saudis, who consider themselves and act as Big Brother! They need to understand that if at all, the so called security threat is from within, rather than another country.

Saudis are peeved about the recent nuclear deal between Iran and the West, in which Oman played an important role. So all the more, they would not like to listen to Oman's logic and go ahead with the GCC Union.

Oman is correct in saying that there are more important issues on hand, i.e. economic matters, where GCC countries have to work together, rather than worry about the security.

Kulafo 5 years ago

What threat to GCC? Which country they would attack on GCC? And why? what are the reason?

I'm living in Oman for many years as an expat, i asked the opinion of local here, they told me that Oman has a good relationship
with Iran, the point here is not "violent attack" but the attack on economic of other countries on the GCC like UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and even Saudi. Oman and Iran has the strategical business location among other GCC country.

These is are the insecurities of the Oil rich Country (KSA).