GCC to begin membership talks with Jordan

“Foreign Ministers from the GCC member states are working on the outlines of the GCC’s negotiating approach,” a GCC official said on Wednesday. “Initial contacts are under way to examine and evaluate Jordan’s membership requirements. Detailed discussions could start later this month.”
Asked about the steps to be followed by the GCC in negotiating with Jordan, the official said the GCC Supreme Council had assigned the ministerial council to invite the foreign minister of Jordan to enter into negotiations and to start work with a view to finalize the necessary procedures for membership.
He pointed out that further discussions about how Jordan can meet membership requirements are expected to continue later this month. He, however, could not specify the necessary conditions and requirements to be fulfilled by Amman to become a member of the GCC. It is also not clear whether Jordan will be given a full-fledged membership or will be a partial member or only a member of some of the GCC’s institutions, much like Yemen.
“But there is no denying the fact Amman would greatly benefit from the GCC membership,” said the official.
Jordan’s gross domestic product has been abysmally poor compared to its GCC counterparts. Its GDP was $28 billion in 2010, slightly higher than Bahrain’s $23 billion, the smallest economy in the GCC.
Member countries in the GCC account for the largest percentage of Jordan’s trade. Gulf investments in the Jordanian stock market exceeds $5.6 billion. More than 600,000 Jordanians live and work in the GCC states, said the report, adding that the GCC and Jordan foreign ministers will meet at the council’s headquarters in Riyadh.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh has been quoted in the media as saying: “I will sit with my GCC colleagues and the secretary-general and we will discuss the details of our bid toward full membership of the GCC.”
The talks will first cover economic cooperation, Jordanian workforce in the Gulf, freedom of movement and visas, among others. Jordan first applied for GCC membership in the mid-1980s, but it was rejected.

Add Comment