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US defense chief to visit Bahrain, UAE this week: Spokesman

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MANAMA, BAHRAIN - SEPTEMBER 07: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY – MANDATORY CREDIT - "US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin meets Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Manama, Bahrain on September 07, 2021. ( U.S. Department of Defense - Anadolu Agency )
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Nov 17, 2021 - 07:20 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will travel to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this week, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.

“He’ll meet with government and military leaders in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates,” John Kirby told reporters.

The secretary will embark Thursday on his Middle East trip.

In both locations, Kirby said, the defense chief will visit troops deployed and stationed with the US Naval Forces, Central Command and US Air Force’s central command.

“We affirm the US resolve to advance and strengthen our commitment to long standing US leadership in strengthening regional security and stability,” he added.

The State Department announced in a separate statement that US President Joe Biden’s special envoy for Yemen will travel Tuesday and meet Saudi Arabian and Bahraini allies to discuss Iran’s activities in the region.

*Kasim Ileri contributed to the story

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