Al-Zayani told Arab News in an exclusive interview that “The GCC initiative has been accepted by all parties including the ruling regime.” Asked about the demands made by international human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch to revoke the immunity clause from the GCC pact, he ruled out any such possibility or amendment. The GCC chief was speaking on the sidelines of the 30th anniversary celebrations organized at the GCC General Secretariat on Tuesday night.
The celebrations were attended by some 1,000 guests from the six Gulf countries, including royal family members and senior diplomats. Prince Salman, who chaired the celebrations, gave away trophies and plaques to former secretary-generals and GCC officials. Prominent among those present on the occasion included Prince Sultan bin Salman, chief of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA); Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, assistant minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; and Nizar Obaid Madani, minister of state for Foreign Affairs.
Asked how long the GCC peace initiative will be on offer to secure the signature of President Saleh, the GCC chief said: “I hope it will be there long enough to ensure a viable peaceful solution.” In fact, the broad language in the deal appears to set no limits to the immunity terms. On a question about tentative dates for the start of membership negotiations with Jordan and Morocco, he said, “The GCC ministerial council has been entrusted with the task to do that.”
“The council composed of the GCC foreign ministers is studying all necessary procedures and conditions to decide as how to proceed and how it can be done,” he added. When asked, Al-Zayani, however, refused to comment on the interest shown by Palestine to join GCC once it became a full-fledged state. PA Cabinet chief Naim Abul Huomos last week said that joining the GCC would be important for Palestine on political and economic levels.
“The GCC, for the time being, will talk with only two countries — Jordan and Morocco,” said Jameel bin Ibrahim Al-Hujailan, a former GCC secretary-general. The decision by the Gulf countries to admit Jordan and Morocco is a major step in the right direction, said Al-Hujailan, who received a trophy of commendation from Prince Salman. He said that membership of these two countries would add over 12 percent to the bloc’s economy.
He continued saying that Jordan and Morocco could benefit in terms of attracting capital from the wealthy Gulf nations and exporting labor to them. More importantly, the addition would lead to the creation of a new axis of geo-political influence in the Middle East, said the former GCC chief.
Earlier in his speech, Al-Zayani had congratulated the Gulf leaders on the completion of 30 years, presenting an account of the achievements of the GCC in political, economic, military, security, social and cultural fields

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