Oman opposes union of Persian Gulf states

Oman opposes union of Persian Gulf states
Sun Dec 8, 2013 11:06:39

Oman has announced its opposition to a proposal by Saudi Arabia for upgrading the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) into a union with a common military force.

“We are against a union,” said Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi on the sidelines of the Manama Dialogue forum in Bahrain on Saturday, Press TV reported.

Oman says it will leave the council if the proposal, which is on the agenda of the next PGCC summit in Kuwait City on Tuesday, is approved.

“We will not prevent a union, but if it happens we will not be part of it,” Alawi stated. “We will simply withdraw.”

Saudi Arabia offered the proposal in 2011 following popular uprisings in countries such as Bahrain, which was an early supporter of the idea.

The United Arab Emirates has expressed reservations on the proposal. Kuwait and Qatar, however, support the union proposal.

The 9th annual forum of the PGCC on security is attended by world officials including UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

The council includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

HH/HH

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