Gulf Co-operation Council

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The Gulf Co-operation Council or GCC—also known as The Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf—was established on February 4, 1981, and held its first summit meeting on May 25, 1981, in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Summits have been held every year since then.

The GCC is a regional co-operation system between the Arab States of the Gulf created to meet new challenges in the region. Their geographical proximity and the similarity of their regulations and economic and social conditions were central to the decision by its constituent states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. All six states are autocracies ruled by Sunni Muslim royal families aided by consultative councils and weak parliaments; none is a constitutional monarchy or democracy.

The GCC Charter states that the basic objectives are to effect coordination, integration and inter-connection between Member States in all fields, strengthening ties between their peoples, formulating similar regulations in various fields such as economy, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, administration, as well as fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources, establishing scientific research centres, setting up joint ventures, and encouraging cooperation of the private sector.