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Jordan: Debating a Possible GCC Union

The announcement that Jordan and Morocco might join the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) caused an immediate shockwave of reactions.

The GCC was founded in 1981 by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait in order to encourage economic integration and security coordination between Gulf states. Stock markets across the GCC reacted positively to news of GCC expansion.

While reactions from citizens of GCC countries were often against the potential addition of Jordan and Morocco, many Jordanians were elated at the news. Ghada al-Kurd described potential economic benefits:

Flags of the original Gulf Cooperation Council GCC members. Image by Flickr user abcdz2000 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Flags of the original Gulf Cooperation Council GCC members. Image by Flickr user abcdz2000 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

@Shusmo Supply #JO & demand #GCC, market penetration &reach, emplymnt, venture invstmnts #Amman #JO, better Economy part of #ReformJO

Amar Majali, after a series of jokes, concluded:

Joking aside, this could be really good economically. No taxation is the GCC way. Jordanians can do with no taxation. #JOGCC

Not all were so convinced. 7iber.com, a social dialogue site, asked its readers to post their thoughts on the idea. Responding to those commenting on economic benefits for Jordan, Mahmood wrote:

umm seriously ! so you dont think this move is just a stunt by KSA to balance the scale and set egypt back ! KSA hates the idea that EGYPT is back as the leader of arabs !

bottom line they the GCC is shopping for voting power and we happened to be the cheapest on the market as usual !

Mohammed Husa wrote, in part [ar]:

من ناحية استراتيجية وعمق استراتيجي دول الخليج هي المستفيد الاكبر لمواجهة النحدي الايراني ولاعادة صياغة محور الاعتدال بعد الاهتزازات الكبرى وخصوصا في مصر

2-من ناحية اقتصادية انا متأكد انه ستكون هناك تحفظات وشروط تعجيزية من ناحية حرية الحركة للاردنيين كما هو الحال مع موضوع تركيا للدخول للاتحاد الاوروبي

In terms of strategy and strategic depth, Gulf states are the biggest beneficiary in the the face of the Iranian threat and strengthening the moderate allies after major reverberations, especially in Egypt.

Secondly, in economic terms I am sure that there will be reservations and burdensome requirements in terms of freedom of movement for Jordanians, as with the issue of Turkey's accession to the European Union.

Rasha Khalifeh tweeted sarcastically [ar]:

انتهت مشكلة اردني فلسطيني صرنا كلنا خليجي #GCC #JOGCC

The Jordanian-Palestinian problem is over – all of us are Gulfi

Lina Ejeilat wrote humorously:

who needs good governance, democracy, and human rights when you can have oil money? Woohoo! #JOGCC

And some were undecided. Photographer EHamdallah commented on her need to learn more about the situation:

I need to know more about this whole #JO joining #GCC thing! I am not getting it! #ReformJO #JoGCC #GCCJo

Hanan Abu-Shamat jokingly reprimanded those who said that Jordan's addition to the GCC would not bring the GCC any benefit:

Now a country of the #GCC has snow in winter! This is something and you say #Jordan adds no value! Tsk tsk tsk! Hehe. #JOGCC #GCCJO

Maha Mousa remained undecided in her post on 7iber:

It is still up in the air and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done… by the way for those who were asking why the Jordanians were not consulted: I believe that the GCC people should have been consulted of what they think about this issue… don't you think so??

For more reactions to Jordan's possible entry to the GCC, follow the hashtag #JoGCC on Twitter, and read comments on 7iber.com.

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