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Hagel Pledges Stronger Ties to Persian Gulf Partners

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed closer ties and improved missile defenses for allies in the Persian Gulf during a visit designed to ease doubts about U.S. commitment to the region.

The U.S. will “place even more emphasis on building the capacity of our partners in order to complement our strong military presence in the region,” Hagel told delegates at the Manama Dialogue security conference in Bahrain. That will include an effort to better integrate the missile-defense systems used by members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, led by Saudi Arabia.