US Committed to Gulf Security

Posted March 31st, 2012 at 7:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Washington is committed to strengthen the defense capabilities of its Arab allies in the Persian Gulf in the face of growing threat of Iran.

Speaking Saturday at the launch of a “strategic forum” between Washington and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Clinton said America's commitment to the oil-producing bloc is “rock solid and unwavering.”

The top U.S. diplomat called for improved maritime strategies between the two sides, as well as for a coordinated missile defense system for the GCC, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. and GCC also have expressed concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions despite assurances by Tehran that its intentions are peaceful. Clinton told a news conference in Riyadh:

“Iran's window to obtain a peaceful resolution to disputed nuclear program will not remain open for ever.''

The forum also discussed ways of pressuring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end the ongoing crackdown on dissent.

On Friday, Secretary Clinton met with Saudi King Abdullah to discuss a wide range of issues, including global energy supplies and Syria. Saudi Arabia fears the Syrian unrest could destabilize the whole region.

Clinton continued from Riyadh to Turkey, where she is scheduled to attend a Friend of Syria meeting Sunday.