Saudi Arabia tries to stem the tide of change

May 17, 2012

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(AP/Hassan Ammar)
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal, left, welcomes Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa before the May, 2011 Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers meeting.

Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead with efforts to forge a single federation with its five Persian Gulf neighbors. The conservative Saudi crown seeks to replace the 31-year-old Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with a new bulwark against changes sweeping the Middle East.

Scholar and security consultant Joseph Kechichian believes these changes are both sincere and reactionary, and fall too short of filling the desparate economic and social needs of the Middle East, especially in the oil-rich Gulf states. Kechichian is a long-time Worldview contributor and the author of numerous books on the Guldf states and Arab Monarchies who spends a great deal of time in countires like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and the UAE.

Thursday on Worldview he weighs in on these developments.