Gulf Arab countries and the United States have agreed to deploy joint patrols to intercept ships smuggling Iranian weapons to Yemen. The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said the bloc and the US would stage joint maritime patrols to stop weapons smuggling from Iran.
Tuesday’s agreement was reached during a meeting between US Defence Secretary Ash Carter and his Gulf Arab counterparts in Riyadh. The two sides also agreed on joint cooperation towards improving Gulf missile defence, special forces and maritime security, but no new deals were announced.
Carter is part of the US delegation accompanying President Barack Obama in his current visit to Saudi Arabia. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan are among Obama’s entourage, demonstrating the focus on security in the president’s agenda with his Gulf counterparts.
Also on Wednesday, Obama met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. There was no information on what the two leaders discussed in the two-hour meeting. On Thursday, Obama will attend a GCC summit that comprises Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.