During the past few weeks, Arab press began to speculate about the Arab Gulf Corporation Council’s invitation to Jordan and Morocco to join their ranks.
One of the main speculations behind this new policy on the part of “GCC” is to strengthen the military capability of the Gulf region. Such a move, if implemented, will provide regional and local stability and minimize the possibilities of local uprising. Also, it will provide more security from any Iranian threats. Furthermore, it will strengthen the royal kingdom’s rules. As it was pointed out by some Gulf political leaders, in light of the spring revolutions that led to the collapses of the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes, such a move will prevent the domino theory from happening in the Gulf region.
It seems to me that such a move is an effort to develop a “royal monarchy club” to protect the thrones of absolute authoritarian regimes. In a way, what happened in Bahrain recently, when members of the “GCC” sent security forces, which led to the suppression of the protestors’ movement, is a clear example. Those who led the reforms movement in Bahrain were calling for justice and the implementation of democratic reforms. It happened that the Sunni minority, which constitutes one-third of the total population, is in full political control of parliament and other governmental institutions. For example, the Shiaa segment of the population is given only 18 sects out of 40, despite the fact that they constitute more than two-thirds of the total population.
The main rationale that the Bahraini government used to suppress the protestors reform movements is that they are influenced by the Iranian government. This unjustified political policy that has been going on for many decades in the Arab world between the Muslim Sunni and Muslim Shiaa should come to an end since both religious groups accept the content of the Quran in its totality.
As long as this dogmatic conflict continues in the Arab world, it will be a major obstacle to progress. It is no wonder to see that nearly the whole world is progressing, while the Arab world is regressing.
Nevertheless, the call by the members of GCC for Jordan and Morocco to join and become members of their council, in my judgment, is a positive step. If such a political step will lead to lifting political borders and allow the free movement of workers in search for jobs, it will be a positive political and economic step that will strengthen the region. The Jordanian government has already responded positively to the invitation from GCC.
There are many common characteristics of political, economic and religious traits that Jordan shares with the Gulf region. For example, it was reported that there are already more than ½ a million Jordanian workers in the Gulf region. Furthermore, Jordan is among the leading Arab states in terms of its high literacy rates, college graduates and skilled workers, which provides an important potential for further economic development that will benefit all.
It is no secret that Jordan will benefit from such a move that will provide the opportunity for the development of its human resources and will have a positive impact on the region as a whole.
Discussion is going on, and hopefully it will lead to full membership benefits economically and politically. It should also be pointed out that the Jordanian geographical position, sharing political boundaries with Saudi Arabia, puts it at an advantageous position by comparison to Morocco. Maybe this point made the Moroccan government less enthusiastic to join.