US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton affirmed here Saturday the US commitment to protect the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, accusing Iran of being a factor of instability in the region.
“Iran pursues a private agenda to destabilize neighboring countries and undermine peace and stability in the Gulf region,” Clinton said.
She made the remarks in a press conference at the Elysee Palace after a summit of world leaders on the international military action against the regime of Libyan leader Col Muammar Qaddafi.
“It’s a priority for the US administration to work with partners in the Gulf region against the concern over the behavior of Iran,” she said.
Commenting on the deployment of troops from the Peninsula Shield Force in the Kingdom of Bahrain in the wake of violent protests, Clinton said it was a sovereign right for Bahrain to seek help from GCC member states under the joint defense treaty they had signed.
As for the summit, she said she shared views with Arab foreign ministers on how to put an end to the crisis of Libya, lauding the backing of the Arab League and the GCC for the UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
She expects defections in Gaddafi’s regime upon the start of the enforcement of the resolution which provides for establishing a no-fly zone over Libya and adoption of all possible means to protect Libyan civilians.
Earlier today Clinton affirmed that her country would take part in the enforcement of the resolution and the planned military actions against Gaddafi’s forces, noting that the US enjoys unique capabilities that could help implement the military sanctions effectively.
Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the host of the summit, announced the start of the implementation of the resolution, saying that the French forces would respond to any attack by Gaddafi forces on civilians.
The French Ministry of Defense said Rafale assault fighters attacked tanks loyal to Gaddafi as they closed in on the eastern city of Benghazi.
Besides Sarkozy and Clinton, the summit gathered more than twenty world leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Margaret Ashton, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, Chairman of the African Union Commission (AUC) Dr. Jean Ping, and Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa as well as foreign ministers of Qatar, the UAE, Morocco and Jordan.