Gates will lead U.S. delegation to Manama

Nov. 23, 2007 at 5:09 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will lead the American delegation to the 4th annual Gulf regional security summit known as the Manama Dialogue.

Delegations from 23 governments in the Gulf and around the world will attend the summit next month in the Bahraini capital, said a statement this week from its organizers, London-based think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Other delegations would be led by officials "of a corresponding seniority," the statement said.

Defense, foreign affairs, security and intelligence officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen will attend, along with "key external powers" Australia, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Turkey and the United States.

Issues at the public plenary sessions include, "The United States and the Regional Balance of Power; Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia; Energy and Regional Security; Territorial Integrity, Borders and Gulf Security; Iraq and the Neighborhood; and Regional Framework for Gulf Security."

Non-public break-out sessions will address more sensitive issues like, "Shia-Sunni Relations; Regional Armed Forces and Security Policy; Transnational Threats; and Economic Security, Sanctions and Regional Stability."

There will also be private bilateral and multilateral meetings.

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