Pentagon chief tries to reassure concerned allies in the Middle East

The American minister of Defense Lloyd Austin attends a meeting of NATO defense ministers at Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

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MANAMA, November 20 (Reuters) – US minister from Defense Lloyd Austin wanted on Saturday to reassure allies in the Middle East that the administration of President Joe Biden is committed to the region despite Washington turning its attention more and more to countering China.

It was unclear how would have a lot of impact on Austin’s speech with Washington’s allies in the Middle East, as it was not supported by anyone announcements of further implementations of new gun sales in the region.

Arab Gulf States, highly dependent on The United States military umbrella, have expressed uncertainty over Biden’s focus on the region, especially after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. They are now keeping a close eye on the efforts in the holes to a​​ global-competent nuclear pact with Iran.

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In a speech in Bahrain on a trip to the Gulf, Austin acknowledged concerns in the region and worldwide that the United States was solely focused on China’s challenge.

“Let’s be clear: America’s Commitment to Security in the Middle East is strong and suresaid Austin.

He said the United States is determined to counter Iran even as Washington works to revive the 2015 nuclear deal in to blow.

“We remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue. But if Iran doesn’t want to get involved seriously, then we’ll look at all options necessary to keep the United States safe,” Austin said.

Pentagon chief said Washington would come to indirect negotiations on reviving the deal on Nov 29 in Vienna in good to trust.

“But Iran’s actions in the past few months have not been encouraging, mainly because of the expansion of their nuclear program,” he said Austin.

Gulf States have asked for any deal to tackle what they call Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and Destabilizing Behavior in the region.


while a number of US governments have tried to move the focus away from the Middle East and towards the Pacific, Biden in Augustus ended the longest American war, in Afghanistan.

“There is dismay that the United States is” on to be way out the door. I am not sure message addresses die to look forward to it of imminent American abandonment,” said Jon Alterman of the Washington CSIS think tank.

AN senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Austin did not expect to make new commitments in the region during his journey.

Saudi Arabia, one of Washington’s closest regional allies are frustrated by the approach of Biden’s White House, which has pressured Riyadh to improve its human rights record and end the war in Yemen.

Former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal, die attended Manama’s security forum, welcomed verbal pledges, but said “demonstrative actions are equally important”.

He quoted the need to prevent the Houthis die are affiliated with Iran to get weapons in Yemen. Washington urges Riyadh to liquidate coalition blockage on Houthi Occupied Territories, a Disorder of the group for ceasefire talks.

Austin was set to visit Saudi Arabia in September but the trip was postponed at the last minute. He will not visit Riyadh on This trip.

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Reporting by Idrees Ali; Additional reporting by Alexander Cornwell and Ghaida Ghantous in dubai; Editing by William Mallard and David Clarke

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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