KUWAIT, Dec 4 (KUNA) -- Since the inception of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981, one cannot overlook the historic and deep impact of great leaders who were able to transform a dream into a reality in spite of great challenges in their path.
Their efforts led to the formation of a leading regional bloc with an authentic identity, carrying the ambitions and aspirations of this region's people.
History will remember, with much pride, the leaders of the six brotherly nations who worked tirelessly to form the bloc until it reached its esteemed position on the regional and global map.
Their labours and contributions have survived the test of time long after their passing.
These figures include the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and his companion the late Amir Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, the late UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, Saudi Arabia's late King Fahad bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and after him the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the late Amir of Bahrain (an emirate at the time) Issa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and the late Amir of Qatar Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani.
The seeds for the formation of the GCC were planted by Sheikh Jaber and UAE President Zayed in 1976 which was followed by tour carried out by Kuwait's Sheikh Saad to several GCC countries in 1980.
The late Saudi King Khaled bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and his successor King Fahad also played a part in supporting the idea of the GCC's formation. King Khaled and then Crown Prince King Fahad stood side by side during the first two GCC Summits.
King Fahad himself represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the third Summit in Manama 1982, continuing the Saudi strong leadership and support.
The strength of the GCC as an entity was clearly seen during Doha's GCC Summit in 1990. The strong stance by King Fahad against the Iraqi aggression and invasion of Kuwait that year reflected the crucial role played by the council in strengthening the relations and security amongst all member states.
The Saudi leading role in the GCC continued with late King Abdullah especially in the 21st GCC Summit in Bahrain in 2000. The King, who was then Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, stressed the importance of further bolstering the defensive capabilities of the GCC members against internal and external threats.
The late leaders of Qatar and Bahrain, Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Issa respectively, also contributed to the development of the GCC as entity which focused on the welfare and development of the Gulf citizens. (end)