Issue Brief on “The First GCC-Central Asia Summit: Fostering Collaboration and Economic Integration”

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The first-ever summit between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the five Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) took place in Jeddah on July 19, 2023. The event marked a significant milestone in the development of relations between these two regions, opening up new avenues for cooperation and exchange of experiences. The GCC-CAS summit represents another significant geopolitical rallying point in the region, which include the recent Saudi-Iran rapprochement and the inclusion of Saudi Arabia as a Dialogue Partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), earlier this year.

The summit brought together officials from the six GCC and the five Central Asian countries, also known as the C5 bloc. The Summit saw the participation of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Representing the GCC side were the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and the Vice President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. The rulers of Oman and Bahrain were represented by Sayyid Asaad bin Tariq Al-Said and Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, respectively.

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