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US to boost Gulf presence after Iraq pullout, says New York Times

Media reports claim the United States plans to increase its military presence in the Gulf when it withdraws troops from Iraq at the end of the year

Reuters , Sunday 30 Oct 2011
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The United States is planning to bolster its military presence in the Gulf after it pulls out its remaining troops from Iraq, the New York Times reported in its online edition on Sunday.

President Barack Obama said on Oct. 21 that he had decided to withdraw all US troops from Iraq by the end of the year and the paper said that US military officers and diplomats worried that the withdrawal could bring instability to the region.

It said Washington was negotiating to maintain a combat presence on the ground in Kuwait and was considering deploying more warships in the area.

No one at the Pentagon was immediately available to comment.

The United States also wanted to expand its military ties with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, it said.

The proposal needed approval by GCC leaders who are due to meet in the Saudi capital Riyadh in December, the paper said.

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