Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United States have agreed to carry out joint patrols to stop any Iranian arms shipments reaching Yemen, the bloc’s Secretary General, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said on Wednesday.
Zayani was speaking at a news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter after a meeting between Carter and his counterparts from the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
Iran denies accusations by Gulf states that it is smuggling weapons to Yemen, where GCC countries are involved in a military campaign against the Tehran-allied Houthi movement.
Carter urged Gulf states to do more to battle ISIS and reaffirmed the US’s commitment to Gulf security.
Following a meeting of Gulf Defense Ministers, Carter said the US will continue efforts to confront Iranian violations in the region.
The Gulf Defense Ministers met ahead of a GCC summit with US President Barack Obama on Thursday.
US President Barack Obama arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in what is expected to be his final visit to the Kingdom before he leaves office this year.
Dressed in a grey suit, Obama emerged at 1:14 pm local time and descended the steps of Air Force One at the Saudi capital’s King Khalid International Airport.
Obama will meet with Saudi King Salman, before a Gulf Cooperation Council summit of leaders from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Oman on Thursday.
The US President is set to consult Washington’s Gulf allies on the crises in Yemen and Syria in particular.