US and Gulf allies to seek new security pact

US Secretary of States says his country to flesh out a new security understanding with GCC states in Washington summit.

    US and Gulf allies to seek new security pact
    The Paris meeting set the stage for a summit next week in the US between President Obama and Gulf leaders [Reuters]

    The United States and its Gulf allies will try to agree on new security measures at a summit in Washington next week to counter Iran's influence in the region, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

    After marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe at the Arc De Triomphe in Paris, Kerry hosted on Friday his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, as well as the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

    The Paris meeting set the stage for a summit next week in Washington and Camp David between US President Barack Obama and the six-nation GCC on May 14.  

    The Obama administration faces a formidable challenge to allay Gulf Arab fears over a nuclear deal with Tehran.

    The West hopes to secure a nuclear deal with Tehran by an end-of-June deadline and this has stirred anxiety among Washington's Gulf allies who fear Iran's intentions in the region.

    "President Obama completely understands the stakes," Kerry told a news conference, "We are fleshing out a series of new commitments that will create between the United States and the GCC a new security understanding, a new set of security initiatives. That will take us beyond anything that we have had before," he added.

    US officials have told Reuters that the Washington summit would create a region-wide defence system to guard against Iranian missiles and could be accompanied by enhanced security commitments, new arms sales and more joint military exercises.

    "It is not a one-way street, it is a two-way street, with mutual interests and mutual needs that need to be addressed," Kerry said.

    "I am confident that with Camp David those views are going to take shape in a form that will greatly enhance our ability to meet the needs of our people, and the needs of all those people, who want a future that is free of terrorism," he added.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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