The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, which is concerned about Shiite Iran’s regional influence and the rise of Sunni extremist groups, agreed on Tuesday to create a joint naval force based out of Bahrain and announced a police force based out of the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi.
The creation of the police force, known as GCC-POL, and the naval force were announced at the conclusion of the Gulf bloc’s annual summit in Qatar. The meeting was held just weeks after the Western-allied countries reached a reconciliation agreement linked to Qatar’s support for Islamist groups throughout the region.
The summit took place on the same day that the price of brent crude oil hit a five-year low of $65, with Kuwait’s emir warning in his remarks that the slide in price is impacting development programs. Gulf monarchs rely on income from oil to sustain generous welfare programs used to appease the public. […]