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    Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdullatif al-Zayani

    US to Announce Integration of Gulf Council Ballistic Defense Architecture

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    The United States and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states will announce plans to integrate ballistic defense capabilities after the US-GCC summit meeting at Camp David on Thursday, National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes stated during a press call.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US will also announce additional military exercises, Rhodes added, to improve the GCC states’ ability to act collectively and with the US to address conventional and non-conventional risks, including maritime, asymmetric and cybersecurity threats.

    “We will have some specific announcements as it relates to integrating the GCC ballistic missile defense architecture, so stay tuned on that,” Rhodes said on Monday.

    Six GCC countries, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are set to meet with US officials in Camp David on Thursday to discuss regional security cooperation.

    On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama will host GCC leaders for a dinner at the White House, while on Thursday at Camp David, the leaders will discuss a range of security topics with US officials, including the Islamic State, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, the Iran nuclear agreement and Iran’s activities throughout the Middle East.

    A number of US cabinet members and senior officials will attend the US-GCC Summit, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, CIA Director John Brennan.

    Saudi Arabian King Salman Al Saud, who was initially slated to meet with US President Barack Obama at the White House prior to the US-GCC Summit, canceled his trip because of the humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen and the opening of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid, the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC said in a press release on Sunday.

    On Monday, King Salman called Obama to express his regret for not being able to travel to Washington. Obama and Salman reviewed the summit agenda and emphasized the strength of the US-Saudi partnership, the White House said.

    The Obama administration said that the change in King Salman’s plans had nothing to do with the agenda of the GCC summit, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

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    military drills, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Ben Rhodes, United States
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