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Paradox in PGCC Policies

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TEHRAN, April 12 (ICANA) – In their second emergency meeting, the foreign ministers of the Arab member states of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) could not find a strategy to help Bahrain and Yemen out of their current crises.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 10:42:01 AM
Paradox in PGCC Policies

In this meeting, which was also attended by Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, the foreign ministers of [P]GCC member states proposed that Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh transfer power to Deputy President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi.

According to the proposal, Saleh would remain president ceremonially only and without executive authority until the end of his term in 2013.

The proposal was welcomed by Saleh but opposed by the opposition leaders, because one of the main demands of Yemeni people is for Saleh to step down and face trial.

In another proposal, the [P]GCC had urged Saleh to step down. But Saleh rejected the plan and called it a “blatant interference” of Persian Gulf countries, especially Qatar, in Yemen's affairs.

In its previous proposal, the [P]GCC had stressed that Saleh and his family should be given guarantees of immunity from prosecution if he quit.

The contradiction in [P]GCC's actions and decisions shows that this council has been facing two completely different approaches.

One approach led by Saudi Arabia is against any fundamental change in some Arab countries, because Saudi leaders consider these changes to their disadvantage.

Another approach which is led by Qatar stresses the necessity for implementing a series of political reforms in the power structure of Arab countries.

Therefore, during the recent crises in Yemen and Bahrain, the [P]GCC faced an obvious paradox and adopted two different approaches.

The [P]GCC member states have a tribal and religious view toward events in Bahrain.

Bahrain, which was part of Iran's territory until 1971, broke away from the country through a plot organized by Britain.

Eighty percent of Bahrain's population is Shia, but the Sunni rulers of the island have given citizenship to a large number of Indians, Bangladeshi and Pakistani people to change the demographic structure of the country.

Discrimination between Bahrain's main citizens and immigrants has created a difficult situation for the Shia population of the island, which has resulted in a gap between government and people.

In their protests, Bahrainis made legitimate demands but because of the inhumane reaction of Al Khalifa rulers, peaceful popular demonstrations turned violent.

In its recent meetings in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, the [P]GCC was fully influenced by Saudi Arabia's politics.

The council, established after the eight-year war imposed by Iraq on Iran in 1981 to provide Iraq's Ba'ath regime with political and financial aid, tried to sow discord among the countries on the two sides of the Persian Gulf.

According to the existing documents, the [P]GCC provided Iraq with 120 billion dollars in financial aid during eight years of war it imposed.

Therefore, because of its biased stances and its support of Persian Gulf dictators, the [P]GCC cannot play a positive role in resolving the problems of the region's Arab nations.

During recent events in Bahrain, the [P]GCC, which was unfortunately under the influence of Al Khalifa and Al Saud, not only failed to give any effective help for resolving Bahrain's problems but also encouraged Saudi Arabia and the UAE to suppress Bahraini people.

This contradictory behavior proves that trans-regional powers are also playing a major role, influencing the [P]GCC's decisions.

Despite the warnings from some regional countries against the unbalanced policies of [P]GCC member states regarding regional events, unfortunately these countries continued their unjust actions toward the Bahraini nation.

Now Bahraini and Yemeni people have grown cynical towards the [P]GCC's ministerial meetings.

The region's Arabs believe that the purpose of these meetings is to save Ali Abdullah Saleh and Al Khalifa royal family from losing power.

Saleh, an old ally of Saudi Arabia, suppressed the uprising of Houthi Shias in 2010 with the help of the Saudi army.

Al Khalifa rulers have also been related to Al Saud since Al Khalifa dynasty first immigrated to the Iranian island of Bahrain from Hijaz and Najd regions in Saudi Arabia.

At that time, Iran's Qajar kings overlooked Britain's plot to transfer Al Khalifa tribe to Bahrain because of the country's internal problems and their indifference toward outside developments.

Therefore, it seems that if the [P]GCC continues to make illogical decisions against Bahraini and Yemeni people, it will definitely lose its legitimacy in the Arab world.

The [P]GCC should offer necessary strategies for resolving regional crises away from tribal prejudices, or its susceptibility to the policies of trans-regional powers will lead to an escalation of tensions in the strategic region of the Persian Gulf. (Press TV)

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