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Gulf nations to create joint military command

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 11, 2013 at 8:09 a.m.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab neighbors wrapped up a summit meeting in Kuwait on Wednesday by agreeing to establish a joint military command, paving the way for tighter security coordination even as their regional rival Iran pursues outreach efforts in the wake of its interim nuclear deal.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council also agreed to lay the foundations for a joint Gulf police force and a strategic studies academy, according to a summary of the group's closing statement carried by the official Kuwait News Agency.

Taken together, the initiatives suggest that the U.S.-allied Gulf states are seeking to do more to ensure their collective security amid the prospect of warmer relations between Iran and the West. The Islamic Republic agreed last month to freeze parts of its nuclear program in exchange for some relief from Western economic sanctions.

It was not immediately clear when the proposed Gulf military command and joint police force would be formed, how they would be structured or what the extent of their mandates would be.

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