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The Joint Defense Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council during the meeting (File Photo/AP)

The Joint Defense Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council discussed, in Riyadh, Monday, coordination in the “defense field”, and opened a new headquarters for the unified military command in the Saudi capital.

And the Gulf Cooperation Council stated, in a statement, that “the defense ministers of the GCC states held the eighteenth meeting of the Joint Defense Council, at the headquarters of the General Secretariat in Riyadh, headed by Lieutenant-General Abdullah Al-Nuaimi, Minister of Defense Affairs in Bahrain.”

The meeting also dealt with “many topics of joint military action, and appropriate decisions and recommendations were taken regarding them,” according to the statement, without details.

Pictures of the meeting published by the council on its website showed the presence of 6 officials representing the GCC states: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, and Bahrain.

The meeting was attended by Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman (the Crown Prince), in addition to the defense ministers of the other five Gulf states.

After his participation in the meeting, Khalid bin Salman said, through his account on “Twitter”: “We discussed aspects of coordination and integration between the GCC states in the defense field, in a way that enhances the security and stability of the region.”

After the meeting, the attendees participated with Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Council, in the opening of the new headquarters of the Unified Military Command in Riyadh,” according to a second statement of the Council.

Al-Hajraf praised “the presence of a unified force of the GCC countries consisting of land, air, sea and air defense.”

He added that this unified force “is proportional to the threats facing the region, and is a deterrent to protect its citizens and their gains from any external threat that attempts to undermine its security and stability.”

In December 2019, Saudi Arabia announced the signing of an agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council to establish a headquarters for the unified command.

Saudi Arabia usually intercepts attacks with missiles and booby-trapped drones launched by the Yemeni Houthi movement towards targets in the kingdom.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has led a coalition that has been carrying out military operations in Yemen, in support of government forces, in the face of the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have controlled governorates, including the capital, Sanaa (north) since 2014.

Gulf capitals, led by Riyadh, accuse Tehran of possessing an expansionist Shiite agenda in the region, and of interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, including Yemen and Lebanon, which Iran denies and says that it adheres to a good-neighborly policy.

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