Reflections

The Gulf Cooperation Council Will Never Be the Same

Dec 6, 2017 | 10:12 GMT
A general view for the GCC leaders meeting in Kuwait City on Dec. 5, 2017. Things have been tense in the bloc since Saudi Arabia and some GCC peers' started a campaign to isolate Qatar over differences in regional policies. Of course, the GCC has been beset by internal squabbles among its six members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- since its inception.

A general view for the GCC leaders meeting in Kuwait City on Dec. 5, 2017. Things have been tense in the bloc since Saudi Arabia and some GCC peers started a campaign to isolate Qatar over differences in regional policies. And of course, the GCC has been beset by internal squabbles among its six members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- since its inception. But Abu Dhabi's announcement that it and Saudi Arabia are planning their own cooperation council for security and economic affairs shows that the Qatar crisis is leading to a rebalancing in the bloc, one that’s emblematic of the larger geopolitical forces pulling the GCC apart.

(YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has stopped cooperating. In fact, the bloc may be fragmenting. Kuwait hosted the 38th GCC Summit on Tuesday, but only one member -- Qatar -- sent its head of state to the gathering. Moreover, the GCC members decided to cancel the second day of the planned two-day summit. Yet perhaps most concerning for the GCC's future, was the United Arab Emirates' announcement that it and Saudi Arabia were planning their own cooperation council for security and economic affairs. Things have been tense in the bloc since Saudi Arabia and some GCC peers' started a campaign to isolate Qatar over differences in regional policies. Of course, the GCC has been beset by squabbles among its six members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- since its inception. But the Emirati announcement shows that the Qatar crisis is leading to a...

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