GCC: Ongoing Cooperation with Washington ahead of Trump’s Visit‏

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File photo

 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani said that cooperation and collaboration was maintained with the US administration within the framework of strategic partnership forged between Gulf leaders and former US President Barack Obama, Asharq Al Awsat reported .

In comments to reporters, Al-Zayani said the two sides were actively working to promote cooperation and consolidate bilateral ties.

US President Donald Trump announced last week that he would head to Saudi Arabia on May 23, on his first foreign official visit, to hold a Saudi-US summit and another meeting with GCC leaders. He will also meet with a number of Muslim and Arab leaders.

Following a Saudi-US summit last year, Al-Zayani said that American and GCC leaders have agreed to promote military cooperation.

He noted in this regard that Riyadh and Washington were still implementing decisions taken during two previous summits, which have focused on military cooperation among other fields.

During last year’s summit, which was held in April upon the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, leaders reaffirmed the need to remain vigilant about addressing Iran’s destabilizing actions in the region, including its ballistic missile program and support for terrorist groups in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and other countries.

According to the GCC secretary general, the summit saw an agreement on the implementation of an initiative to train specially-designated Special Operations Forces (SOF) units from each GCC country in order to strengthen counterterrorism capabilities.

GCC countries also supported expanded cooperation on cyber security, endorsing cyber norms codified by Saudi Arabia, the United States and other G20 countries.

Al-Zayani noted that military cooperation would also include training military medical personnel and countering, through joint military operations, illegal Iranian naval activities and arms smuggling into Yemen.

Last March, Kuwait hosted the Eagle Resolve 2017 military exercises with the participation of Saudi armed forces, as well as those of other GCC countries and US military personnel, within the GCC-US strategic partnership.