Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has told defense ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council memberÂ countries to workÂ together toward the defeat of the Islamic State militant groupÂ at aÂ meetingÂ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Defense News reported Thursday.
Terri Moon Cronk writes Carter is on the last stop of his two-weekÂ trip across Asian countries and has attended a series of meetings with the defense heads ofÂ 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 StateÂ 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 programsÂ with the GCC ahead of President Barack Obama’s arrival at the summit Thursday, Defense News reported.
Carter also cited the provision ofÂ $33 billion inÂ defense equipment,Â regional maritime security and the development of aÂ regional ballistic missile defense architecture blueprint with GCC, Cronk writes.