(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Bahraini government has declared its support for a Saudi plan to unify the six Arab members of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, a report states.
In December 2011, Saudi King Abdullah called on the council member states to move “beyond the stage of cooperation and into the stage of unity in a single entity.”
Saudi Arabia will move on to the other [P}GCC member states -- Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Oman--after Bahrain.
The member states of the [P]GCC claim the purpose of the unity is to counter regional threats.
The Bahraini opposition leader also stated that the people of Bahrain “alone have the right” to decide and the ruling Al Khalifa regime has “no right to decide a union or confederation with any country.”
There is an interview with Kamel Wazne, professor at the American University of Beirut, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview.
Q: Looking at these plans for this union put forth by the Saudis, do you agree that this seems essentially like the Saudis want to annex Bahrain?
Wazne: Obviously it lacks the law that will make it possible because you have to go and take it to the Bahraini people and you put it as a referendum to the Bahraini people. If the Bahraini people approve to that merge, it will be accepted.
As long as it’s forced on the Bahraini people as a violation of the sovereignty of Bahrain and is a forced occupation by the Bahraini entity that will lead to lose the sovereignty of Bahrain as an independent state.
I think here the Saudis tried to take Bahrain as a hostage, tried to take what is left of Bahrain because the Saudis have been sending their troops and they want to crackdown on the peaceful demonstrators inside Bahrain.
If this is adopted by the Saudis and the Bahrainis, they think it will give legitimacy for more of the crackdowns that are pushed by the Saudis and by the Persian Gulf country.
Anyway, it doesn’t have the legal means to be a legal entity and a viable entity as long as the Bahraini people are not actually asked to vote on it.
Q: Professor, does it matter if this is legal or not? Will the Saudis or the Bahrainis even care considering they’re already ignoring, obviously, the calls from Sheikh Ali Salman, or al-Wefaq, who says that he is against it, and obviously the Bahraini people are against it? Does it really matter to the Saudis whether this is legal or illegal?
Wazne: I think the Saudis have been violating the sovereignty of Bahrain and the Bahraini people. Their entrance into Bahrain is a total violation of the people and the will or majority of the Bahraini people.
But does it matter? Yes, in the short run it might not be a major issue but in the long run it would be a major issue because here there is a crime against humanity being committed by those troops on the ground, who the Saudis participated in these crimes and these tortures.
Now if they have that annexation or what they call it a “union or federation,” then there will be a further legal procedure against everyone who has committed a crime against the Bahraini people and civilians.
In the short run, it might be a win for the Saudis. In the long run, it will carry a lot of liabilities and legal liabilities against the Saudi government which actually is a major participant in the crackdown against the peaceful demonstrators of Bahrain.