U.S.-Gulf Council Launch Joint Air, Missile Defense & Maritime Security Efforts

U.S. Department of Defense

Senior officials of the United States and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) convened the latest round of U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Working Groups on Integrated Air and Missile Defense and Maritime Security in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 13, 2023. The meeting built on progress made during the March 9, 2022 Working Groups, when the United States and the GCC developed a common vision for deterring the most pressing air, missile, and maritime threats to regional security and stability.

The United States and GCC member states reaffirmed longstanding partnership and underscored a shared commitment to contribute to a collective approach to regional security and stability, under the framework of the GCC-U.S. Strategic Partnership. Senior leaders discussed today’s urgent and shared threats, which do not respect international borders and require an integrated approach to our air defense and maritime security capabilities.

GCC member states briefed GCC efforts to bolster defense cooperation, in concert with the United States, leading to a substantive exchange that identified multilateral solutions to advance shared interests.

Participants acknowledged mutual interest in enhancing regional stability by fostering cooperative security and eliminating existing gaps exploited by state and non-state actors. They also aim to incorporate bilateral activities, operations, and investments into a regional, multilateral approach. By working together to achieve these two objectives, GCC and member states will build a more networked architecture for enhanced collective defense in the Gulf.

Building on March Working Groups, the United States and GCC member states welcomed opportunities to continue their work together to advance integrated deterrence in the region. Due to the clear threat to regional security and stability, preventing Iran from holding the region at risk through its proliferation and direct use of advanced ballistic missiles, maritime weapons, and unmanned systems is of the utmost importance. The United States and GCC members agreed on the shared objectives of improving collective early warning, streamlining coordination against shared threats, and building towards regional integration.

The United States and GCC member states affirmed the importance of continuing periodic Working Groups to discuss IAMD and Maritime Security and will explore possibility of expanding participation.

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