Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has told defense ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries to work together toward the defeat of the Islamic State militant group at a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Defense News reported Thursday.
Terri Moon Cronk writes Carter is on the last stop of his two-week trip across Asian countries and has attended a series of meetings with the defense heads of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait.
Carter told the GCC defense leaders to include political and economical tactics on top of military efforts to ensure the defeat of the Islamic State group, Cronk wrote.
“Sunni support for multi-sectarian governance and reconstruction, particularly in Sunni areas of Iraq, will both be critical to ensuring that ISIL stays defeated,” Carter said.
The U.S. defense head added he also discussed Iran’s destabilizing behavior and other multilateral counter-threat programs with the GCC ahead of President Barack Obama’s arrival at the summit Thursday, Defense News reported.
Carter also cited the provision of $33 billion in defense equipment, regional maritime security and the development of a regional ballistic missile defense architecture blueprint with GCC, Cronk writes.