Jordan, Morocco to join [P]GCC
Jordan's pro-Western Kingdom led by Abdullah II has been welcomed to the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council.
The (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) has accepted membership requests from pro-Western monarchs in Jordan and Morocco amidst a wave of uprisings in the Arab world.
[P]GCC Secretary General Abdul-Latif Al-Zayani said Wednesday that the organization has already welcomed bids by the two Arab kingdoms to join the council, despite the fact that they are both non-Persian Gulf countries, the Associated Press reported.
Al-Zayani made the announcement following a [P]GCC summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
The six-nation group, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, also discussed relations with Iran, the tensions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa and the ongoing unrest in Yemen.
The [P]GCC has been seeking to strike a power transition deal in Yemen that would grant the embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution in return for his resignation.
Yemeni opposition groups, however, have rejected any agreement with the president, stressing that such plans are only aim at giving Saleh more time to wear out the opposition and remain in office.
Saleh, who has been in power for nearly 33 years, has also rejected the [P]GCC plan, reports say.
The president's refusal has sparked fresh waves of protests across the country.
On Wednesday, at least one protester was killed and many others injured after regime forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the southern Yemeni city of Taizz.
This comes a day after government jets pounded tribal regions near Sana'a. At least 23 people were killed in the airstrike.
Over 300 Yemeni protesters have been killed and many others injured during clashes with riot police and armed forces loyal to Saleh since the anti-regime demonstrations began in late January, according to local reports.
There are concerns that the intermittent skirmishes between anti-government demonstrators and forces loyal to Saleh could eventually spiral out of control and trigger a large-scale violence.