The Gulf Cooperation Council has stepped up efforts to boost defense cooperation, align security initiatives and face security challenges, said Abdullateef Al-Zayani, GCC secretary general, while speaking at an international conference in Bahrain on Tuesday.
Al-Zayani warned that the GCC has emerged as a strong regional bloc and that “an attack on any one member state would be considered an attack on all GCC states.”
He said that the GCC has embarked on a path of defense cooperation keeping in view the external threats that aim to “destabilize” the region. Although foreign military threats are low, the policy to unify the defense policies of the Gulf states will continue because they are consistent with the emerging regional and international realities, and with the internal logic of the region’s development as a whole, he added.
Al-Zayani was speaking at an international conference organized by the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT).
He said: “The GCC, as a bloc, is exerting efforts to combat terrorism, cyber attacks, money laundering and international financial crimes.”
He highlighted the foreign policies of the GCC states that bind them together as a potential regional grouping. “Since its inception more than a quarter-century ago, the GCC has effectively maintained its unity and security as incendiary conflicts raged around it,” he added.
Al-Zayani said that a newly revitalized GCC is shifting its strategies to ensure greater stability.
The Bahrain conference, that concludes on Wednesday, will also discuss the GCC-Turkish relations, the Iranian nuclear issue and its impact on the region, and the strategic developments in the Arab world. The conference has attracted leading international figures and prominent analysts including Arab League special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby.

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