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Oman Will Not Join a GCC-Iran Conflict

Dec. 9, 2013 - 09:12AM   |  
By AWAD MUSTAFA   |   Comments
Omani Foreign Minister Yousif Bin Alawi al Ibrahim told the Manama Dialogue on Saturday that Oman would not support aggression against Iran. (MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP/Getty Images)
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MANAMA, BAHRAIN — A top Omani official has said Oman would not support any Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) agenda for aggression against Iran as this would send the region back centuries.

Yousif Bin Alawi al Ibrahim, the Omani minister responsible for foreign affairs, on Saturday told a high-level panel at the Manama Dialogue — an event that included Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar bin Obaid Madani, GCC Secretary General Abdel Latif Al Zayani and Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy — that Oman would not be part of “any arrangements or new arrangements for the gulf countries for confrontation in the existing conflicts.”

Ibrahim also said arms proliferation in the gulf is in preparation for war with Iran. He warned that full international support is needed for that to happen.

“There are commitments and the proliferation of arms in the gulf is meant for one thing — and it is to confront Iran. Iran is bigger than us and therefore to do so we need international support,” he said.

“We believe we are in a historical phase around the world that requires work to achieve peace and stability — and based on that, we can achieve sustainable development and progress,” he added.

Ibrahim said 60 percent of the gulf countries are young. “Development requires a capability to create a new culture which enables the youth to be part of the global heritage and we should not get into conflict neither with neighbors nor remote countries, as we do not believe the need to go back centuries,” he added.

“With our respect to all the opinions of members of the GCC about the future of the area, we believe that this doesn’t necessarily mean that people should get armed to enter into conflicts or control the conflicts,” he said.

Ibrahim added that Oman is not for establishing a union between the gulf countries.

“We have ambitions for something bigger and larger for the GCC. However, there is a reality which the gulf people know and that we as governments were not able to agree on — the main pillars of the GCC and in particular the economic framework,” he said.

He said that the failure of the GCC to develop an economic system was because some member states believe the subject should be left to the future.

As a result of this, he said, when the financial crisis hit, the member states had to look into different patterns and forms of work during an era of conflicts.

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