US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. FILE PHOTO

US Defense Chief Ends Middle East Trip Reassuring Allies


US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended his Middle East trip on Monday emphasizing the importance of reassuring regional allies about America's commitments.

Austin’s last meeting was with Abu Dhab’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan during which the Defense Secretary reaffirmed “the importance of the US-UAE strategic partnership.” He also thanked the United Arab Emirates for hosting US troops.

The Secretary who attended the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain had a series of meetings with regional partners. During the conference he talked about Iran and tried to reassure regional alliesabout the Biden Administration’s determination not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Israel and America’s Arab allies are concerned about Iran’s growing nuclear program and its belligerent regional policies, while the United States continues to rely on diplomacy to reach a nuclear agreement with Tehran.

In a tweet at the end of his visit Austin said, “One of my core missions as SecDef is to deepen our partnerships. I want our partners to know they are important to us and that they will see a commitment from us for years to come.”

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