Joint Communique from the 2nd U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum

Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Secretary General of the GCC, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met today in New York for the second ministerial meeting of the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum. The Forum was launched in March 2012 to deepen strategic cooperation and coordination of policies to advance shared political, military, security, and economic interests in the Gulf region, foster enhanced stability and security throughout the Middle East, and strengthen the close ties between the GCC and the United States

The officials agreed that the September 27 Friends of Yemen Ministerial reflected their governments’ strong support for President Hadi and Yemen’s political transition, and called on the international community to take immediate action to support Yemen’s economic development and help it address pressing humanitarian needs. The officials urged Yemen to move quickly to begin the National Dialogue, a fundamental first step to other transition benchmarks that must follow in fully implementing the GCC initiative, and noted recent progress on some areas, including steps toward military reorganization and the appointment of a broadly representative and inclusive committee to support the National Dialogue.

The officials noted recent efforts to bolster U.S. and GCC defense capabilities in the Gulf region to preserve freedom of navigation in international waterways and to deter any potential threats to close the Strait of Hormuz or interfere with regional and international commerce. These measures include increased naval and air deployments, multinational and bilateral maritime security exercises such as mine-sweeping, and improvements to regional air and ballistic missile defenses. They noted positively the participation of all GCC states in the September 2012 Mine Countermeasures Exercise as an important step toward advancing coordination on maritime security, and expressed their intention to identify ways to further build upon this collaboration.

The officials reaffirmed the continued value of the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum and identified priority areas for sub-ministerial task forces to focus on in the coming period. They agreed that senior representatives from the United States and the GCC countries should meet regularly to continue discussion of these issues. They agreed that the discussions and decisions reached at this second ministerial meeting will advance further development of the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum as a key mechanism for strengthening collaboration and cooperation to address mutual interests across the region.

Joint Communique From the Second Ministerial Meeting for the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum

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