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Interview with the new GCC Secretary-General
As GCC Secretary-General and the first Bahraini and first military man to take office, HE Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani hopes to usher political and social reform.
April 3, 2011 1:11 by Precious de Leon
However, we should be wary of blindly imitating other societies. Every society has its own characteristics, history, heritage, and its social, demographic, religious and sectarian structure. We are still countries that have social realities, which are linked to tribes and clans. Hence, social change is slow, and undermining the stages of development can result in confusion in the political system. In short, we say that gradual reform is required whereas sudden, coup-like, or revolutionary change could plunge the region into catastrophic situations.
Q. The predicament of the Iranian nuclear issue and the UAE-Iran issue of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs constitute obstacles to developing further Gulf-Iranian relations. How can we settle pending issues with Iran? What other options are available to the GCC?
A. I think we need to put things in the right perspective in conformity to the Gulf principles of action and the principles of good neighbourliness. Here are six points:
• Firstly, Iran is a Muslim country and a neighbouring state to the GCC states and in this context there are questions concerning Iran’s intentions towards the GCC and Iranian ambitions.
• Secondly, Gulf-Iran relations must be based on clear principles referred to in the Charter of the United Nations and several other international conventions. These consist of respecting state sovereignty and on the non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries.