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Thursday, March 31, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Saudi strategist to Gulf states: Time to go nuclear

ABU DHABI — The Gulf Cooperation Council has been urged to acquire nuclear capabilities.


A leading Saudi official has called on the six Gulf Cooperation Council states to cooperate in the acquisition of nuclear energy and deterrence capabilities. Prince Turki Al Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research, said the GCC must follow the European Union model for the development of nuclear and security strategies, Middle East Newsline reported.

"We in the GCC states should seek to achieve our unity and the unity of our decisions at the security and political levels, as well as review the march of the [Gulf] cooperation council, its goals," Turki told a strategic conference in the United Arab Emirates.

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In an address on March 21, Al Faisal told the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research that the GCC must be ready to compete with other nuclear powers in the Middle East. He cited Iran and Israel, and said Gulf Arab states must be capable of resisting regional adversaries.

"Wealth in the region is not sufficient to achieve stability, and we ought to be effective regarding major international affairs and prevent others from dictating options on us," Turki said.

Saudi Arabia has been one of several GCC states that were exploring the feasibility of a nuclear program. Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have already launched plans to acquire nuclear energy reactors.

In his address, Turki, citing the EU, said the GCC must build a regional military force. He said the council must also acquire nuclear capabilities that deter Iran.

"There is nothing that prevents us from transforming the council into a unified entity similar to the European Union," the prince said.

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