This newspaper has in the past predicted that the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council would evolve into an Arab political and economic union in the same way that the six-member European Economic Community developed into today’s 27-member European Union.
Nonetheless, Tuesday’s announcement following its summit in Riyadh that the GCC has given the green light to Morocco and Jordan becoming members comes as a complete surprise. No one imagined that this would be on the agenda at this point in time.
Admitting these two states, one of which is right at the other end of the Arab world will inevitably change the nature of the GCC — which would presumably have to change its name as well. Inevitably, it raises a plethora of questions. Did Jordan and Morocco apply to join or were they invited? What do the present members expect of them? Will they be full members? How long will entry negotiations last? Will there be negotiations?