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US is a key strategic partner for the GCC: says crown prince

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CAMP DAVID: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has stressed that the security of the Gulf region is an essential part of the global stability, given the region's economic, political and strategic importance to the global security.

He added during the Camp David summit that the United Arab Emirates and its sisterly Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) states "are quite aware of the size of responsibility on their shoulders to maintain the integrity and vitality of the region. They have managed through the various stages and periods to employ their capacities and capabilities to tackle the challenges and risks."

Shaikh Mohammad underlined that the United States "is a key strategic partner for the GCC and has vital role in maintaining the security and stability in the region, given its global weight, central role, and mutual interests between the two sides, as well as joint cooperation and close partnership," adding that "this important historical stage requires all of us in the GCC to cooperate with our friends by developing a framework of cooperation to serve mutual interests and establish a new stage that takes into account the new threats and challenges."

He added that "we have succeeded together through the constructive cooperation in the Arab coalition, and with the help of friends through Operation Restore Hope in Yemen, to abort the regional projects that sought to sow chaos, destruction and strife in the region."

Shaikh Mohammad said that the international community, led by the United States, must realise that the security and stability of the Arabian Gulf is closely linked to the global security. Hence, setting up the transparent and clear vision that serves all parties to achieve peace, stability and development "is a vital requirement".

He pointed out that this unprecedented historic summit "represents a qualitative genuine addition to the march of the GCC-US relations, and reflects keenness to strengthen the strategic partnership between the GCC states and the US." Shaikh Mohammad said that the talks avail an opportunity to exchange opinions and views through deep consultations on security challenges and threats in the Gulf region.

Shaikh Mohammad stressed the GCC position on the need to keep the Arabian Gulf region, given its strategic importance, safe from any dangers or potential security threats in case the final nuclear agreement with Iran does not include "clear standards and commitments in terms of availability of legal guarantees and international commitments sufficient to curb the nuclear ambitions of Iran in the region and its regional hegemony, as well as measures to prevent the proliferation of nuclear arms."

He expressed confidence in that the US administration would understand the GCC states and their peoples' legitimate concerns about "these potential strategic risks, especially in light of the turmoil, sectarian conflict and the spread of terrorist groups and their affiliated organisations."

US will stand with Gulf states against outside attacks, says Obama

US President Barack Obama said on Thursday he assured leaders of Gulf nations that the United States would stand by them against outside attacks, and he said they had "candid" talks about Iran, Daesh (so called Islamic State) militants and other issues.

"I was very explicit that the United States will stand by our (Gulf Cooperation Council) partners against external attacks," said Obama, who hosted the leaders at the Camp David presidential retreat. He said he is committed to hold a follow-up summit next year.

Sharon Shetty

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