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The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), more formally known as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, is a trade bloc wherein six Arab states of the Persian Gulf carry with them many economic and social objectives. It encompasses about 630 million acres wherein Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are member states.
The council was created on May 25, 1981 while on November 11, 1981, a unified economic agreement was signed between the partner countries. After the signing of the agreement in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the member countries were referred to as the Gulf Cooperative Countries.
The countries around the Persian Gulf are not all council members. Even nations like Iran or Iraq which border the Persian Gulf, did not come on board with the council. Meanwhile, Yemen seems to be warming up to the thought of joining the said cooperation.
Also, its headquarters may be found in Saudi Arabia. The council, having an administrative structure, meets about twice every year. For its governing bodies, there is a supreme council, a council of foreign ministers, an arbitration commission, and a general secretariat.
After implementing most of the provisions in their said agreement by the 1990s, the GCC decided to act on the security issues of their countries. By 1984, a deployment unit called the Peninsula Shield Force with a force of 5,000 men was formed for the council. With such, the member countries went on board with a mutual understanding of a way by which they are to defend against foreign attacks, effectively increasing the force's number to 22,000.
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