MUSCAT, Jan 7 (KUNA) -- A special panel of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) tasked with examining process of establishing confederation among the six member states of the council started a meeting here on Monday.
The committee is studying "movement from the phase of cooperation to the stage of confederation and this is a demand of many citizens of the council states," said the head of the commission, Dr. Mohammed Bin Ahmad Al-Rashid, also the chairman of the Saudi consultative authority, in a statement. He also noted that the fourth article of the GCC statute stipulates that the member states should coordinate for sake of reaching integration and unity.
"It is high time that we ponder moving to this (confederation) phase provided that each state retains its sovereignty," he added, indicating that the council states were seeking unity identical to that bonding member states of the European Union.
Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz had called for developing relationship among the GCC states within the bloc into confederation.
For his part, Abdullah Bechara, member of the consultative authority of Kuwait, and the state representative at the meeting, said in a statement to KUNA that the commission "is studying speeding up establishment of the collective Gulf entity with compliance by statute of the GCC." Aspired confederation "means preserving national identity, sovereignty, independence and internal regimes of each member state within the framework of the charter of the council," he added.
Members of the panel, including representatives of Kuwait, are pondering remarks and comments, presented by the higher authorities of the member states, namely the foreign ministries, regarding the aspired establishment of the confederation.
The GCC states have been bound with close cooperation in various sectors since establishment of the regional bloc in the early 80s. The council comprises Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. (end) ahr.rk KUNA 071138 Jan 13NNNN