Monday, May 30, 2005

NON!? (France & EU - Kuwait & GCC)

I think it's really scary, I'm neither french nor European, but it suddenly came to my mind that Kuwait may relate to France..

I had some devilsh-un-controlled-thoughts...

Kuwait & the Gulf:

Back in 1970 -1971, Kuwait was so eager to see {Abu Dhabi, Duabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al-Khaima, Fujaira & Umm Al-Qaiween (now UAE) + Qatar + Bahrain} united, yes it did & the disclosed British Foreign Office Documents re-affirmed that, and I remember a bank-note I saw at my friend's that has the header 'Qatar & Dubai Bank'..

When it didn't go well, Kuwait didn't stop & supported the new union of Arab Emirates (UAE) in it's early years (and before that)...

Kuwait went on, brought an Idea of a semi-Confederation THE GCC, and pushed for its formation, so...

What if such referendum would be taken in the gulf? Kuwait, just like France: a Unity Pioneer in its region, will Kuwaitis turn down their brethren???

what a nightmare !!


Trevor Stanley said...

I wonder whether you could tell me, do you know the basis of this proposed union?

There were attempts to build a pan-Arab union in the 1950s and 1960s (with Nasser's Egypt the leading player, Syria and later Iraq other likely participants, and several smaller countries playing a role.)

An alternative idea was pan-Islamism, first pushed by the Salafis from al-Azhar University in the 19th Century. After 1928 the most well known Salafis were the Muslim Brotherhood.

In the 1960s Faisal mobilised pan-Islamism as a rival to pan-Arabism, and there were attempts to bring many countries together using the Muslim World League and so on.

I just finished writing an article about the struggle between pan-Arabism and pan-Islam in the 1960s, and would be interested to know what sort of union Kuwait had proposed.

iDip said...

Dear Stanley,

1st of all, thanks for passing by

The union I referred to is not a real full unity, it's called the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council)

it consists of 6 Arab Gulf states: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE & Oman. And it's not a new one, it was formed 24 years ago.

It's not a replacement for the Arab League but you can call it a sub-regional organization of the 'Rich & Traditional Monarchies in the Arab East', Arab countries had many attempts for such sub-organizations but most of them failed & vanished, and the rest are ailing (The Maghreb Union).

What I can remember of GCC achievements are:
1- Almost Joint Foreign Policy, especially by showing a 'GCC Solidarity' in the Arab League meetings.
2-Traveling in the member countries with civil IDs not passports (except for Saudi Arabia).
3-Equal treatment for GCC citizen, for example I can drive with my Kuwaiti License anywhere in the GCC, I can enter any -let's say- Omani government hospitals just like an Omani, and do my business in UAE like Emaraties, as well as Opening bank accounts & trade registries in Bahrain like a Bahraini not an expatriate.
4-The Same customs rate on imports 5%, and if you paid customs in Jebel Ali (UAE) you can move your goods to Bahrain without paying additional customs for Saudi Arabia (located in the mid way between them)

There are more things to be done:
1- Joint Population Census (to be done before the end of 2005)
2-Allowing each country's police force to chase in other GCC country’s borders territory (pending)
3-Joint Passports (pending)
4-Joint Rail Roads (to start within 5 years)
5-Joint Currency (to start within 6 years)

That’s all I can remember for now, I hope it answers your questions.

PS: excuse my grammar if it sounded bad.

Trevor Stanley said...

Thanks for the information iDip.

And don't worry about your English grammar - it's far better than my Arabic grammar(!!)