Clinton, in Riyadh, promises US will back Gulf security

March 31, 2012 15:09

RIYADH - The United States will work with Gulf Arab nations to strengthen their shared defenses against threats including Iran, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday.

Speculation about Tehran's nuclear ambitions is a source of anxiety among Sunni-led Gulf Arab states, for whom Shi'ite Iran has long been a regional rival.

"The commitment of the United States to the people and the nations of the Gulf is rock-solid and unwavering. Our strong bilateral relationships are a rock of stability in the region," Clinton said in prepared remarks delivered in the inaugural meeting of a new US-Gulf security forum.

"Now we look forward to expanding our multilateral cooperation as well," she said at the opening of the meeting with foreign ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes six Gulf countries.

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