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    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter

    Carter: US, Saudi Arabia Should Deepen Defense Cooperation

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    US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told his Saudi counterpart that the two country should deepen bilateral cooperation on training for special operations and integrate missile defense systems.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told his Saudi counterpart that the two countries should deepen bilateral cooperation on training for special operations and integrate missile defense systems, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement on Monday.

    "Carter identified several areas where the United States and Saudi Arabia can deepen their security cooperation for the benefit of both countries, such as enhancing training for special operations and counterterrorism forces, integrating air and missile defense systems, bolstering cyber defenses, and strengthening maritime security," Cook said.

    The US defense secretary met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh ahead of a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in the Saudi capital this week.

    The Pentagon statement noted that the two leaders also discussed mutual security issues, "including checking Iranian destabilizing activities in the region and countering violent extremism" from groups like Daesh.

    Carter is expected to review a number of counterterrorism agreements with GCC leaders during his trip to the Middle East.

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