Volume. 11870
Oman says it opposes union of Persian Gulf states
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_2012-634633406573285670-328.jpgOman opposes upgrading the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council to a union of six nations, an idea first mooted by regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia, Muscat's foreign minister said on Saturday, according to AFP. 
The union issue is on the agenda of the (P)GCC summit to be held on Tuesday in Kuwait.
"We are against a union," Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi said at the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain.
The annual forum on security is also being attended by senior world officials including British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel.
Alawi was speaking after Saudi Assistant Foreign Minister Nizar Madani in a speech called on Persian Gulf states to unify against dangers in the region.
"We will not prevent a union, but if it happens we will not be part of it," Alawi told AFP on the sidelines of the gathering.
If the five other (P)GCC members -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar -- decide to form a union, "we will simply withdraw" from the new body, he said.
Riyadh's idea of upgrading the (P)GCC was first proposed in 2011 and supported by Bahrain. But because of reservations by some members, it was put on hold.
Kuwait and Qatar have since expressed their backing, but the UAE's position on the proposal is not known.
Oman maintains good relations with Tehran. Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani recently received warm welcome in his visit to Oman. During his trip to the Persian Gulf Sultanate, Larijani met with senior Omani officials including Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. 

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