Hagel reassures Gulf allies US committed to regional security

By REUTERS
December 6, 2013 15:15

 
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MANAMA - US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel toured an anti-mine warfare ship in the US Fifth Fleet on Friday to underscore US commitment to Middle East security despite policy differences over Iran and Syria that have angered Washington's longtime Gulf allies.

His visit to Bahrain, in which he will also speak at the Manama Dialogue security conference, came at a time of regional unease over President Barack Obama's policies ranging from the cautious US response to Syria's civil war to the six world powers' interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program.

"This region is dangerous, it's combustible, it's unstable," Hagel said. "But having a steady American hand in this region can help our allies and reassure our allies."

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