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A United Gulf

A United Gulf

Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, December 25

In the four decades that have passed since the establishment of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (commonly known as the GCC), the council has faced many challenges. However, under Saudi Arabia’s leadership, it managed to overcome all of them and emerged from its crises stronger and more powerful than before. Regardless of the challenge it confronted, the kingdom always advocated for political and diplomatic solutions rather than military ones. From a very early stage, Saudi Arabia’s stance was that any crisis experienced by the GCC will be hijacked and used by malicious powers in the region to undermine the Gulf states. Thankfully, the council’s close partnership with US President Donald Trump on one hand, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, on the other, allowed it to maintain stability in the Gulf region while undermining its collective enemies, like Turkey and Iran. It is also important to remember that divergence of views and opinions, and even disagreements, are normal for any multilateral organization. No one expects GCC states to always see everything eye to eye. Yet the fact remains that the council has endured these disagreements and managed to build a common destiny for all of its members. Above all, it brought together all Gulf states under one security umbrella in an effort to confront significant regional challenges. It is for this reason that I believe that what divides us in the Gulf is far smaller than what unites us. Our common Gulf identity is reinforced by religion, language, kinship, social fabric and geopolitical interests. Despite periodic disagreements, or perhaps because of them, the GCC is a stronger and more unified organization than it has ever been before. Thankfully, it will continue to defend the interests of the Gulf states and protect the Gulf region from unwanted foreign interests. – Khalid bin Hamad Al-Malik (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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