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Zayani Says GCC, US Agree Joint Patrols to Block Iran Arms to Yemen - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United States have agreed to carry out joint patrols to stop any Iranian arms shipments reaching Yemen, the bloc’s secretary general, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said on Wednesday.

Zayani’s announcement came after a meeting on Wednesday between U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his counterparts from the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

The meeting tackled regional issues and the fight against ISIS, Zayani said after the meeting. Also, Gulf states condemned the repeated Iranian intervention in other Arab countries’ affairs.

Speaking following a meeting of Gulf defense ministers, Carter said that the nuclear deal with Iran aims at maintaining regional security and that the U.S. will continue efforts to confront Iranian violations in the region.

Iran denies accusations by Gulf states that it is smuggling weapons to Yemen, where GCC countries are involved in a military campaign against the Tehran-allied Houthi movement.

Carter urged Gulf States to do more to battle ISIS and reaffirmed the US’s commitment to Gulf security.

The Gulf defense ministers met ahead of a GCC summit with US President Barack Obama on Thursday.

Obama arrived on Wednesday in Riyadh for meetings with King Salman and high-level Saudi officials.

Both sides are expected to consult on the crises in Yemen and Syria.