US defense secretary thanks GCC countries for their role in Afghanistan evacuation

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The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III on Tuesday thanked members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for their roles in Afghanistan evacuation efforts, according to press releases by the US Department of Defense.

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In a phone call with the United Arab Emirates’ Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi), Secretary Austin conveyed his appreciation for the UAE’s “instrumental role as a transit location as the US military conducted the evacuation and retrograde mission from Afghanistan,” according to a press release.

Last week, US President Joe Biden thanked the UAE and its leadership for their support in helping evacuate American diplomats and nationals from Afghanistan in a phone call with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Secretary Austin also spoke with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and thanked him for Qatar’s “critical support” to US operations in Afghanistan.

The defense secretary expressed his thanks for Bahrain’s role as a transit location in evacuation, in a phone call with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

According to a press release, Secretary Austin thanked Kuwait’s Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber al-Ali Al Sabah for his country’s “generous role” in Afghanistan, and the two sides reaffirmed the strength of the US-Kuwait partnership.

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