Hagel: US-Iran talks ‘not at cost of Gulf security’

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Updated 16 May 2014

Hagel: US-Iran talks ‘not at cost of Gulf security’

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Wednesday promised Saudi Arabia and other GCC states that US negotiations to contain Iran's nuclear program would not weaken their security.
“First, these negotiations will under no circumstances trade away regional security for concessions on Iran's nuclear program,” he said while addressing a meeting of GCC defense ministers in Jeddah.
The Pentagon chief added: “Second, while our strong preference is for a diplomatic solution, the United States will remain postured and prepared to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon — and that Iran abides by the terms of any potential agreement.”
Even if Tehran backs out of the nuclear negotiations, Hagel said, “the US remains committed to our Gulf partners' security.”
Hagel’s reassurance came after Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense called for stronger military cooperation between the US and the GCC, whose security he said is threatened.
“We meet today amid persistent threats to the region's security and stability,” which “necessitate coordination in politics and defense strategies of our countries,” said Prince Salman. “The security of our countries and our people are in danger,” added the crown prince.
Among the issues of concern were “political crises” in some Arab states, as well as “attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and meddling of certain states” in the internal affairs of others, he added.
He voiced hope that “cooperation continues” with the US, stressing “historic and strategic relations” between Washington and GCC countries have “contributed to cementing security and stability in the region.


Turkey probes dozens over quake social media posts

Updated 27 January 2020

Turkey probes dozens over quake social media posts

  • Suspects accused of sharing fake images about the quake on social media
  • Death toll from Friday’s quake had reached 39 people as hopes dimmed of finding more survivors

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors are investigating dozens of people for “provocative” social media messages about the deadly earthquake in eastern Turkey, reports said Monday.
The death toll from Friday’s quake in Elazig province had reached 39 people as hopes dimmed of finding more survivors amid the rubble.
The Ankara prosecutor’s office is checking 50 individuals on suspicion of “spreading fear and panic” and “insulting the Turkish people, the Turkish republic and the state institutions,” the Hurriyet daily said.
The suspects are accused of sharing fake images about the quake on social media.
Turkish authorities were winding up their rescue efforts on Monday.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters that 24,000 tents had been provided, 1,000 container shelters were being built, and funds released to repair damaged buildings.
Thirty-five of the victims died in Elazig and four in the neighboring province of Malatya, officials said.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 86 injured were still being treated in hospitals — 18 of them in intensive care units.