This from Asharq al-Awsat.
RIYADH, (AFP) — The six Gulf monarchies Tuesday responded to Arab uprisings by agreeing to expand their regional grouping to include pro-Western Jordan and Morocco and urged a quick political deal in Yemen. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) welcomed bids by the two Arab kingdoms to join the six-nation grouping of Gulf monarchies, its secretary general Abdullatif al-Zayani said. “Leaders of the GCC welcomed the request of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to join the council and instructed the foreign ministers to enter into negotiations to complete the procedures,” Zayani told reporters. He said the same procedure would be followed with Morocco. His remarks came after a summit in Riyadh of the GCC, which groups Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, discussed relations with Iran, the unrest in Yemen — the Arabian Peninsula’s only republican state — and the tensions sweeping the region. (Edited for space.)
Please read the entire article for more important information.
Analysis. I expected that Jordan would at some time be admitted to the Gulf Cooperation Council as it is becoming more and more an alliance of anti-Iranian countries throughout the Middle East. Jordan has been the unofficial host of the meetings of the GCC, Jordanian, Egyptian and Israeli intelligence ministries ever since Debka announced these meetings a few years ago. I realized a long time ago that Jordan is a key state in the defense of the Two Mosques against Iranian/Syrian/Hezbollah efforts to replace the House of Saud as the Guardian of the Two Mosques granted to it by ibn Wahhab in the middle 1800s. Upon this title rests the legitimacy of the House of Saud.
This move is probably related to the upcoming attempt on May 16th to bring an Iranian sponsored “aid flotilla” to Manama harbor. (See my previous post). By making Jordan an official member of the GCC, it puts the GCC on record as understanding that the war with Iran will be a two front war. It also works to formalize the command structure of the GCC and the defensive, so far, planning process.
The inclusion of Morocco recognizes the numerical inferiority to the combined forces of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and their proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere. A quick review of the Moroccan military at GlobalSecurity.org shows that their inclusion is mostly symbolic and does not shift the balance of power in favor of the pro-American Arab bloc.
There are three major events that will significantly influence the balance of power: The evolution of Egypt’s relationship with Iran; what happens with the Iranian flotilla going to Bahrain; and the revolution in Syria.