Abdullah Bin Zayed: Yemen is not yet qualified for gulf membership
United Arab Emirates-Yemen, Politics, 1/13/2004
The United Arab Emirates minister of information and culture, Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, said yesterday during a forum on challenges facing the Gulf region that Yemen is not qualified to join the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.
Replying to a question on that Yemen has not joined the GCC, Sheikh Abdullah said "Yemen is not currently qualified for the membership of the council." Yemen, the only state in the Arab Peninsula which does not overlook the Gulf, asked repeatedly since 1996 to join the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
The GCC was formed in 1981. During its summit which was held in Muscat in December 2001, it approved that Yemen will join certain GCC establishments. A matter which will open the way for joining it gradually. The minister said he does not "expect Yemen to join the GCC within one or two years, because this will not be in the interests of Yemen or the GCC states," stressing that the "GCC will not be closed (for membership)." The minister gave an example that the European Union which spent hundreds of billions of dollars to rehabilitate countries to join, ( this regional coalition) like Greece and Spain, with some of these countries having needed 12 years before they joined.
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