Musandam: Creating a New Region Across the Water
Oman lies in two distinct regions – the Arab Gulf States to its west and the Iranian landmass across the water to its east. This paper proposes to locate the country in both its neighbourhoods with a special reference to the Musandam peninsula. The Musandam Peninsula is separated from the rest of Oman by a strip of territory belonging to the United Arab Emirates. It is this tip on the Gulf coast that has given Oman the status of a Gulf state and a berth on the Gulf Cooperation Council. Musandam juts into the Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman. This location secures Oman a joint control, with Iran, of the Strait. The “Musandam phenomenon”, as a result, explains Omani foreign policy behaviour to a very large extent. More specifically, it makes Oman’s “special relationship” with Iran well worth scrutinizing, turning to domestic economic considerations, internal dynamics within the GCC and the co-sharing of the Strait.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Gulf Cooperation Council Gulf Cooperation Council Country Gulf State Security Cooperation
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