RIYADH, 21st April, 2016 (WAM) — XXX. solution. Underscoring their shared commitment to defeat terrorism in all of its forms, both the GCC and United States welcomed progress reversing ISIL’s territorial gains in Iraq and Syria.

The United States welcomed GCC members’ participation in and support for the international Counter-Daesh (ISIL) coalition and commended the rigorous efforts by GCC member states to prevent terrorist attacks, including by bolstering information sharing on foreign terrorist fighters, as well as actions by Gulf partners to counter ISIL’s hateful ideology and message, and more broadly to counter violent extremism.

Expressing concern at attempts by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and Daesh to take advantage of the vacuum of authority in Yemen, they emphasised the importance of actions to counter this threat in parallel with progress reaching a political settlement of the conflict. Leaders received an update on the recently-formed Islamic Counterterrorism Coalition, and pledged to further strengthen their counterterrorism partnership.

The US and the GCC states reiterated support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, noting that successful implementation of the JCPOA, thus far, has blocked Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and enhanced regional security and stability.

Leaders reaffirmed the need to remain vigilant about addressing Iran’s destabilising actions in the region, including its ballistic missile programme and support for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and other extremist proxies, in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

To help inform a shared approach to those activities, the GCC and the US pledged to increase information sharing on Iran and other asymmetric threats in the region. GCC countries also committed to redouble their engagement on U.S. offers of maritime security cooperation, and to expeditiously reach consensus on steps necessary to implement an integrated ballistic missile defense early warning system.

The US and the GCC stressed the need for broader dialogue to resolve the region’s conflicts, as well as their shared interest in reducing sectarian tensions. GCC countries reaffirmed their willingness to build trust and resolve longstanding differences through engagement with Iran; it is being understood that Iran must engage the region according to the principles of good neighbourliness, strict non-interference in domestic affairs, and respect for territorial integrity, consistent with international law, including the United Nations Charter.

The US policy to use all elements of power to secure its core interests in the Gulf region, and to deter and confront external aggression against its allies and partners, as it did during the Gulf War, is unequivocal. The United States remains prepared to work jointly with the GCC states to deter and confront an external threat to any GCC state’s territorial integrity that is inconsistent with the U.N. charter.

GCC leaders, in turn, committed to strengthening their engagement on U.S. offers of security assistance, cooperation, and training aimed at enhancing the Gulf states’ ability to play a larger role in addressing regional challenges.

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