Bahrain strongly supports Egypt membership in Gulf council, minister says

Bahrain fervently supports Egypt's membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said Monday.

Arab news reports in September claimed the GCC was negotiating with Egypt over the possibility of its membership. However, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said Egypt has not received any invitation to join the GCC.  

The GCC is an Arab regional organization established in 1981. It consists of six countries overlooking the Arabian Gulf: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

In statements to the press on Monday, Khalifa said Egypt's potential GCC membership has been discussed several times and added that Bahrain has strongly supported this step recently, particularly after Jordan and Morocco's memberships were discussed.

"Egypt should be at the top of Arab countries to join the GCC over the coming period," he said.

Khalifa highlighted the importance of the Bahraini king’s visit to Egypt on Monday and his meetings with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Prime Minister Essam Sharaf.

Khalifa also denied claims that the Bahraini king's visit, which comes 10 months after the 25 January revolution, reflects a hostile stance toward the Egyptian revolution.

He said the transformations taking place in Egypt will not only achieve the ambitions of the Egyptian people, but also those of all Arab nations.

The king's talks in Cairo addressed cooperation between the two countries in all fields and the transformations taking place in some Arab countries, he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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