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U.S. Looks to Antimissile Collaboration With Gulf States, Clinton Says

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday said the Obama administration is looking to support the security of friendly Persian Gulf states through collaboration on missile defense, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, March 27).

Clinton made the statement during an address at the First Ministerial Meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council-U.S. Strategic Cooperation Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The council consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Washington is aiming for "practical and specific steps to strengthen our mutual security, such as helping our militaries improve interoperability, cooperate on maritime security and missile defense, and coordinate responses to crises," Clinton said.

Development of a "regional missile defense architecture" in response to Iran's developing ballistic missile capabilities is a "priority" for the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials (Lachlan Carmichael, Agence France-Presse/Gulfnews.com, March 31).

Clinton said talks with her GCC counterparts on Saturday would address Iran's atomic activities and "curbing its interference in the affairs of its neighbors," Reuters reported.

Washington and other partner governments believe Tehran is seeking the capability to produce nuclear weapons, a charge vehemently denied in Iran (see related GSN story, today; Missy Ryan, Reuters, March 31).

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