President Obama submits determination on GCC

President Barack Obama submitted a determination on Monday about eligibility of the Gulf Cooperation Council to receive defense articles and services under the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

In a memorandum to Secretary of State John Kerry, Obama invoked the two laws in his administration's furnishing of defense services and defense articles to the GCC. He said the act would strengthen U.S. security.

"Pursuant to the authority vested in me as president by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 503(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and section 3(a)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to the Gulf Cooperation Council will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace," Obama said.

Obama authorized and directed the State Department to transmit the determination and memorandum to Congress and to arrange for its publication in the Federal Register.

The Gulf Cooperation Council is a union of Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf that was established in February 1981 to strengthen relations, improve education and stimulate technological progress between the member states.

In March 2012, the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum was established to enhance strategic cooperation and coordination of policies shared between the U.S. and the Gulf region. On September 26, the forum held its third ministerial meeting in New York.

In December, U.S. Secretary of State Chuck Hagel proposed that a U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Defense Ministerial meeting be held in the Gulf region in the next six months.