Riyadh calls for US-PGCC stronger military ties

Riyadh calls for US-PGCC stronger military ties
Thu May 15, 2014 12:57:45

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has called for stronger military cooperation between the United States and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf whose security he claimed was under threat.

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, who also holds the defense portfolio, made the remarks at a meeting in the Saudi city of Jeddah between US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and ministers from the six-nation Persian Gulf Cooperation Council on Wednesday.

Hagel for his part alleged that Washington remained “committed” to the oil-rich region’s security and stability.

“We meet today amid persistent threats to the region’s security and stability, which “necessitate coordination in politics and defense strategies of our countries,” said Prince Salman.

“The security of our countries and our people is in danger,” he added.

The crown prince claimed concerns over “political crises” in some Arab states, as well as “attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and meddling of certain states” in the internal affairs of others.

He also alleged that “historic and strategic relations” between Washington and PGCC countries had “contributed to cementing security and stability in the region.”

Hagel also called for cooperation in dealing with security threats.

“The security challenges facing this region threaten the region as a whole, and no one nation can address them alone,” he said at the end of the meeting.

“We agreed on the need for more cooperation in three areas: more integrated air and missile defense coordination; closer maritime security integration; and expanded cyber security cooperation,” he said.

The PGCC has been allegedly dissatisfied with Washington’s cautious approach to arming terrorist groups in Syria.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and certain countries in the Middle East have reportedly provided militants in Syria with weapons and money. Saudi Arabia has recently displayed its DF-3 atomic warhead missile during a military parade in the Kingdom. The Dongfeng 3 (DF-3) has a range of up to 3,300 kilometers, and can carry two-ton warheads.


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