US will not abandon its partners

Kuwait, "The United States will not abandon this region or its partners as "our US Central Command priorities here have not changed," said the Commander of the US Central Command, General Joseph Votel.

Votel remarks came during a meeting here for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) chief of staff, Egypt, Jordan Chiefs of Staff and the US Central Command conference hosted by Kuwait, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

"The Gulf region is full of vitality and opportunity, but it is also threats to common security," he said.

In his speech, Votel thanked Kuwait for the hospitality and Lt-General Mohammad Al-Khuder for hosting the conference. Theses regular meetings are very important to maintain close ties, open lines of communication, foster mutual understating and advance collaboration, he stressed. "Unity is our mil-to-mil relationships is crucial", he said, adding contributions are crucial with regards to US efforts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan and to the stability of the region as whole.

He also stressed the importance of common security challenges and developing real solutions to address integrated air and missile defense, maritime security and counter terrorism. "We agree that we must come together at the mil-to-mil level despite any issue, for the good of all," he said. Stressing the need to seize the opportunity to push these discussions to subordinates to enact and achieve specific milestones. "We need to come to agreement on who will host our next session," Votel said.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis met recently with many Ambassadors and defense attaches in the US and reiterated that US will continue to be faithful partner, he added. "Two of our enduring security threats are the destabilizing actions of Iran and violent extremist organizations," General Votel confirmed.

Votel stressed the need to enhance and integrate capabilities of mutual national security interests together. "As military professionals, we know the risk and need to rise above any issue," he said, adding that every Gulf nation and US forces in the region are susceptible to risks such as ballistic missiles, UVAs, proxies and terrorism from the common adversaries.

Votel tackled the key contributions by many of the Gulf partners in Syria and Afghanistan, as he praised the increase contributions by many of the Gulf partners. These contributions have made significant impact for the good in Syria, and especially in Afghanistan to defeats the so-called Islamic state organization (IS), bring Taliban closer to reconciliation, and build afghan security forces capacity and partnering with the NATO mission.

Votel expressed hope on this conference to be a necessary step to ensure security, achieve national and shares interests and keep

lions at bay.

Source: Bahrain News Agency