At a security conference in Bahrain, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned a few core principles that remain critical to maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf states.
Iraq is an example of a country that is realizing its goal of becoming a fully sovereign, stable, and self-reliant state. Last month, Iraq’s political leaders agreed to form a government that reflects the results of their election. The United States is fully committed to working with Iraq as equal partners and equal members of the international community.
A second principle is security partnership. "Gulf and Arab countries," said Secretary Clinton, "have been among the most stalwart partners in our shared mission against violent extremist networks in Afghanistan." Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Egypt have all provided civilian and humanitarian assistance in fields ranging from police training to civil service development, education, to women’s health.
Another critical principle is freedom of navigation. The Gulf States must be able to ship oil and other goods freely and securely, by land and sea, throughout the region. All countries, including Iran, should do their part to cooperate in the common defense of the waterways. This is particularly important with regard to piracy in the waters off the Horn of Africa.
Several nations in the region have begun to contribute to this effort, but the problem is outpacing the resources that have been committed to solving it thus far. More resources must be allocated to improve maritime security, target the finances of pirate networks, prosecute the criminals, and address the conditions on the ground that give rise to piracy in the first place.
The United States looks forward to continuing to work with it friends in the region to create a more secure, prosperous, and peaceful world.