Kuwait, US discuss military cooperation

Updated: 2011-11-17 09:46


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KUWAIT CITY - Kuwait and the United States discussed Wednesday bilateral military cooperation as the Pentagon mulls troops boost in the Gulf country to counter what it said potential threats from Iran.

The meeting of Kuwaiti Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs Andrew J Shapiro also tackled interests of mutual concern, the official KUNA news agency reported.

KUNA did not specify whether a US plan to beef up the number of US troops in the Gulf Arab emirate would be on the agenda of the meeting.

US Army General Martin Dempsey said Tuesday the Obama administration should consider boosting military presence in Kuwait after the scheduled year-end withdrawal from Iraq.

But Sheikh Jaber, who doubles Kuwait's first deputy prime minister, on Nov 6 denied that an unspecified number of US troops would be shifted to Kuwait, saying the country was only a crossover for the US troops to pull out from Iraq.

Kuwait enhanced military cooperation with the United States and allowed more US troops to reside in the country after the United States led coalition forces to liberate the country from around eight-month of occupation by Iraq in 1991.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States has nearly 29,000 troops in Kuwait, in addition to over 17,000 more in other Gulf countries.

Kuwait houses Camp Arifjian in the south of the country which serves as a logistic base for the US military missions in Iraq.