It is shameful that citizens in the Gulf are not aware of the security pact or its contents.
Khalid Al Sayed, Editor-in-Chief of the Peninsula, in an op-ed about a Gulf security agreement signed by all GCC states at the conclusion of a recent summit in Bahrain. The pact has been in flux for years because Kuwait refused to sign it, saying certain clauses violated the nation’s constitution and fundamental freedoms. Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia signed it in 1994, and Qatar joined in 2009, according to Gulf News.
But recent turmoil has changed Kuwait’s priorities, Al Sayed asserts. Arab News reports: (The pact) stressed that an attack on any GCC state would be considered as an attack on them all, and that any threat on one of them would be considered as a threat on all member states.
That part of the closed-door agreement, whose text has not been made publicly available, raises obvious free speech questions, Al Sayed said:
The Article Two of the pact posted on a website last month said the GCC states will take necessary actions to stop its citizens and expatriates from interfering in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries. This article raised a question whether media reports would be interpreted as an act of interference. Calling for a copy of the pact, which was presumably made due to a growing threat from Iran, Al Sayed continues:
Authorities always maintain that laws are made to serve the interests of individuals. For the same reason, citizens have the right and duty to know the laws which are made for them and it is deplorable to see Gulf citizens being marginalized and not consulted on issues related to democracy and fundamental freedom at a time when we are seeing Arab people standing up for freedom.