US agrees to expedite arms sales to Arab allies: Kerry

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference following a meeting with foreign ministers of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council in Doha on August 3, 2015. (AFP photo)

US Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington has agreed to speed up arms sales to Persian Gulf allies.

The United States has "agreed to expedite certain arms sales that are needed and that have taken too long in the past," the top US diplomat told reporters in Qatar on Monday following a meeting with regional foreign ministers.

On the latest leg of a regional tour, Kerry held talks with his counterparts from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council to ease their concerns about the recent nuclear agreement with Iran.

PGCC member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Kerry (C) listens during the meeting of foreign ministers of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council on August 3, 2015 in Doha. (AFP photo)

At a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart, Kerry said the goal was to fully implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in Vienna last month.

He also said that the US and its regional Arab allies would step up efforts to share intelligence and increase the number of joint military exercises. "These are a few examples and ways in which we believe the security of the region can be strengthened and cooperation will be enhanced."

The Qatari foreign minister, Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah, said that the nuclear accord with Iran was "the best option among other options."

Kerry landed in Doha on Sunday night after visiting Cairo, where he met with Egyptian officials to resume a “strategic dialogue” between the US and Egypt.

Kerry (C) waits for the opening of a US-Egypt strategic dialogue at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo on August 2, 2015. (AFP photo)

In Egypt, Kerry once again defended the nuclear accord with Iran.

"There can be absolutely no question that if the Vienna plan is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer than they otherwise would be or were," he told reporters Sunday.


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