Greater unification of Gulf states in focus

Updated 31 August 2012

Greater unification of Gulf states in focus

Foreign Ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will hold an important meeting on Sunday to discuss greater unification of the Gulf States and to review all aspects of a plan to transform the GCC into a strong unified “Gulf Union.” This 124th ministerial meeting, to be held in Jeddah after the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, will also examine key regional issues.
Abdulatif Al-Zayani, GCC secretary general said: “The initiative to move from a GCC bloc to a Gulf Union will be discussed in detail by GCC foreign ministers.”
Gulf States are already tied through unified policies, militarily, politically and economically under the mandate of the GCC Charter.
Al-Zayani said, “Unification is meant to empower GCC bloc countries and empower members to come to the aid of one another in times of threat,” he said.
A GCC commission in December last year to discuss the initiative completed its review and submitted comments and recommendations to GCC foreign ministers recently.
Al-Zayani said foreign ministers would discuss other regional and international concerns. The agenda will include discussion on the situation in Yemen, Syria and Iran and a review of reports filed by ministerial committees for GCC joint action.
“There is an urgent need to boost cooperation between member states in areas of politics, defense and economy, for the sake of prosperity and for collective security,” he said.


Turkey to arrest 82 including mayor over pro-Kurdish protests

Updated 25 September 2020

Turkey to arrest 82 including mayor over pro-Kurdish protests

ANKARA: Turkish authorities on Friday issued arrest warrants for 82 people, including a mayor, over pro-Kurdish protests six years ago, officials and local media said.
The warrants relate to October 2014 protests in Turkey sparked by the seizure by Islamic State (IS) jihadists of the mainly Kurdish Syrian town of Kobane.
Police were on the hunt for the 82 suspects in the Turkish capital and six other provinces, the Ankara chief public prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The prosecutor's office did not specify what offences the 82 are alleged to have committed.
But it said crimes committed during the protests included murder, attempted murder, theft, damaging property, looting, burning the Turkish flag and injuring 326 security officials and 435 citizens.
There was also a warrant for the mayor of the eastern city of Kars, Ayhan Bilgen, Hurriyet daily reported.
Bilgen won the city in 2019 local elections representing the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which is Turkey's second-largest opposition group in the parliament.
Of a total of 65 HDP mayors returned in those elections, 47 have now been replaced by unelected officials, with some detained on terror charges, the party said last month.
The Turkish government accuses the HDP of being a political front for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party -- which has waged an insurgency against the state since 1984 -- but the party denies this.
Former HDP co-leaders, Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, were named in the investigation but both have been in jail since 2016 pending multiple trials.
The government accused the HDP of urging people to take part in the protests across Turkey that left 37 dead.
But the HDP blames Turkish police for the violence.