US seeks to revive ‘Arab NATO’ against Iran

TEHRAN, Jul. 28 (MNA) – Trump administration has renewed efforts to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran.

The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties, four sources told Reuters.

The Trump administration’s hope is that the effort, tentatively known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), might be discussed at a summit provisionally scheduled for Washington on Oct. 12-13, several sources were quoted as saying by Reuters.

The White House confirmed it was working on the concept of the alliance with “our regional partners now and have been for several months.”

According to the Reuters report, Saudi officials raised the idea of a security pact ahead of a Trump visit last year to Saudi Arabia where he announced a massive arms deal, but the alliance proposal did not get off the ground.

Speaking to Reuters, sources from some of the Arab countries involved also said they were aware of renewed efforts to activate the plan.

KI/PR

News Code 136111

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