Saudi Arabia Manages the Gulf through Coordination Councils after Failure of GCC Working System

2021-12-23 - 6:54 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): It is not a secret that Bahrain and the UAE are not satisfied with the Saudi push for reconciliation with Qatar, and their forced entry into this reconciliation during the Gulf Summit held in January 2021.

Bahrain's retreat after Qatari media continued to criticize the policies in Manama, and the UAE's entry into cold relations with Qatar made the situation within the GCC system more fragile than ever before.

Saudi Arabia therefore seems eager towards a policy of directly dealing with each Gulf country individually, an approach that may make it easier for Riyadh to achieve what it wants from its nearby neighbors. Perhaps, this is the reason for the Gulf tour of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

Saudi Arabia now operates in a system of coordinating councils, a council with each Gulf country through which it can determine what it demands and what it offers to each one.

Saudi Twitter user Sultan Al-Amer, who resides in the US, sees that "Saudi coordinating councils with each Gulf country are a practical recognition that the GCC is no longer the main institutional framework governing relations between the Gulf states. If this council had been enough, it would not have needed coordinating councils. In other words, it is an announcement of failure to collective relations and replacing them with bilateral relations."

According to Al-Amer, the oldest Saudi coordinating council was in 1975 with Yemen. After 40 years, the idea of councils has been replicated with the rest of the countries surrounding the Kingdom: in November 2015 the Coordinating Council with Egypt, in April 2016 with Jordan, in May 2016 with the UAE, in August 2017 with Iraq, in July 2018 with Kuwait, in July 2019 with Bahrain, in July 2021 with Oman, and in August 2021 with Qatar.

On his recent visit to Oman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia signed 13 cooperation agreements and several memoranda of understanding, with an investment of $30 billion, in addition to the opening of a direct road between the two countries that will stretch over more than 700 kilometers.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia concluded his Gulf tour by visiting Kuwait, and although no clear political positions have been announced, the Saudi prince is currently concerned about two key issues, the first is the Yemeni file and the second is the fate of the US-Western negotiations with Iran on its nuclear file.

In Bahrain, Mohammed bin Salman only talked about five billion dollars investment from Saudi Arabia in development projects, in addition to 65 initiatives underway. The priority of the Bahraini regime at this moment is money, and then political support. It is one priority, but it is repeated every few months, with no real benefit to Saudi Arabia. Mohammed bin Salman knows that he has no other choice, as no political plan will succeed in Bahrain, let alone the financial balance program that failed. However, political influence and submission are what Riyadh needs now and tomorrow, as it pays for this dull regime that governs its neighborhood.

Arabic Version