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U.S. and U.K. convene to address escalating threats in the Middle East

United States and United Kingdom convene to address escalating threats in the Middle East

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Washington. D. C., 31 January 2024 (WAI): Secretary of Defense of the United States (U.S.) Lloyd J. Austin III met with his counterpart, Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps of the United Kingdom (U.K.), to discuss pressing security concerns in the Middle East.

The meeting focused on the escalating attacks by Iran-aligned militia groups on U.S. troops, illegal Houthi assaults on international shipping in the Red Sea, humanitarian efforts in Gaza, and continued support to Ukraine.

Secretary Austin expressed gratitude for the unwavering support and leadership of the United Kingdom in coalition efforts to counter Houthi aggression while safeguarding naval and international commercial vessels exercising navigational rights and freedoms.

Key discussion topics included the ongoing partnership under the AUKUS agreement and preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington, D.C.

Both leaders reiterated the enduring strength of the U.S.-U.K. partnership and their shared commitment to upholding the rules-based international order. As nations navigate an ever-changing global landscape, alliances between the United States and the United Kingdom remain crucial for maintaining stability and security.

Also Read: Sow the Seeds of Sustainable Prosperity with Pakistan’s Green Revolution

The meeting concluded by reaffirming the close cooperation between the two nations, emphasizing the importance of collective action in addressing shared security challenges.

For many years, the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. has been a pillar of the global community. The two countries have been close allies throughout several battles in the 20th and 21st centuries, including World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, and the War on Terror. Regular public portrayals of the relationship as “special,” regular high-profile political visits, and substantial information sharing at the diplomatic working level are characteristics of the relationship.

Leading attacks against military Houthi targets in Yemen have been carried out by the U.S. and the U.K. In Yemen 2, the U.S. military has also carried out further attacks against a Houthi drone facility. In the Gulf of Aden, the U.S. Navy downed three Iranian drones and a Houthi ballistic missile intended to target ships. The U.S. has linked the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a coalition of militias supported by Iran, to the drone strike that claimed the lives of three U.S. military men in Jordan.

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