Four of the six GCC states signed a security pact on 28 November, aimed at drawing up a joint strategy to combat crime and terrorism. However, Kuwait declined to sign the agreement, stating that the pact contradicted a clause in its constitution, while Qatar boycotted the two-day meeting in Riyadh, in protest at its long-running border dispute with Saudi Arabia.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef Ibn Abdel-Aziz said signatories to the agreement would be obliged to hand over criminal suspects to those states, where the crime had been committed, even if they were their own citizens. ‘If a Saudi, for example, commits a crime in any of the member states, he has to be handed over to that state to be tried there,’ Prince Nayef explained. The minister said that the agreement would also cover the cultural and economic fields.

Kuwait refused to ratify the agreement claiming that the clause on extradition contradicted its constitution. However, Interior Minister Sheikh Ali Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah said the state would try and sign the agreement as soon as possible. Doha has still to give an indication of whether it is willing to sign up.