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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Jordan In GCC: Risks And Opportunities - OpEd

While they belong to the Levant, geographically, historically and culturally, Jordanians are not detached from the Gulf region.

Initial reactions to the news that Jordan may be joining the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC), a small cartel of oil-producing Arab states, were mostly expressed in a tongue-in-cheek manner. The most common was that Jordanians should acquire a taste to wearing the white dishdasha, a traditional white robe worn by nationals of the Arabia Gulf. Others spoke of cheap gas and giant American SUVs becoming the new symbol of our lifestyle. There were the skeptics, who believe that the whole thing is a political stunt – a desert mirage.

But there is no smoke without fire. In spite of very little information released to the public, the GCC leaders did extend an invitation to Jordan to join their exclusive club last month. Jordan, it has been revealed, had first submitted a request for membership in 1988. Only now did the Gulf states take it seriously, most likely as a reaction to the seismic events that had swept through our region earlier this year.