Saudi Arabia's king Abdullah welcomes Sultan Qaboos bin Saiid of Oman in Riyadh on December 19, 2011. Leaders of the Gulf Arab states arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit (Courtesy Reuters).
This post is written by my colleague, Kelley Calkins, a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. Here she offers her assessment of recent GCC calls for unity following this week’s annual GCC summit.
Speaking to his Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) counterparts at the annual GCC summit in Riyadh on Monday, Saudi Arabia’s king Abdullah suggested to the group that they “move from a phase of cooperation to a phase of union within a single entity.” This call was echoed by the other GCC leaders yesterday in the final communique issued at the conclusion of the summit, which also included a directive for Syria to accept the Arab League peace plan. Such grandiose calls for unity and collective decision-making are unusual given the GCC’s lackluster history of organizational cohesiveness and action. It is the dramatically changing regional context, however, that explains this newfound call to action. Read more »