A meeting of the member states of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council (file photo)
Reports say Saudi Arabia is seeking to merge with Bahrain in line with plans to unify the six Arab member states of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council.
Members of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, are expected to meet and discuss closer union among the six countries on May 14.
The member states claim the purpose of the unity is to counter regional threats.
In December 2011, Saudi King Abdullah called on the council members to move “beyond the stage of cooperation and into the stage of unity in a single entity.”
Reports say Saudi Arabia will merge initially with Bahrain in order for the six-member Arab council to reach unity.
This comes while some members of the council have expressed concern about Saudi Arabia’s possible dominance over the other five countries if the council becomes unified.
A Qatari official, whose name was not mentioned in the news reports, said on Friday that Doha “sees this all as Saudi’s way of undermining the [Persian] Gulf States bilateral relations and forcing its own agenda.”
Meanwhile, many commentators say it is unlikely that such unification occur within the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council.