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Reader riposte: GCC membership

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COMMENTS

20 May 2011 08:00

Ralph Evans writes:

A comment on Roger Shanahan's piece on the Gulf Cooperation Council and the possible accession of Jordan and Morocco.

Jordan is near the Gulf, but Morocco is about as far as Hong Kong is from Sydney. And Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria all lie in between Morocco and the Gulf. Egypt is particularly important as much the largest Arab state and often the most influential one. Nor are neighbouring Yemen, Iraq or Syria mentioned as potential members.

This has nothing to do with uranium deposits.  What the GCC countries have in common is they are all absolute monarchies, and very much led by Saudi Arabia. As Roger says, they are Sunni (except Ibadhi Oman). However, I doubt this point has as much relevance as that this is a club for the defence of monarchies.

In some way, this must be in the wash of the widespread uprisings in the Arab world. The Saudi regime has been reported widely to be shaken by America's lack of support at the end of the Mubarak regime, a republic that had taken on some of the characteristics of a monarchy.