ABU DHABI – Recent popular revolts in the Arab world are a source of “anxiety” for Gulf states who must now find a way forward in a time of change, US Admiral Mike Mullen said on Tuesday.
“There’s certainly anxiety and at the same time great focus on how to move forward in a positive way,” Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Abu Dhabi.
“We all agree this a time of enormous change that needs to be resolved peacefully without violence and leaders have to step forward in that regard.”
Mullen, who serves as President Barack Obama’s chief military adviser, on Tuesday morning met Qatari crown prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as well as the country’s military chief of staff in Doha.
Mullen, who began a Gulf tour Sunday in Saudi Arabia, also held talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) army commander and chief of staff, a journalist traveling with the admiral said.
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The United States for 63 years has based its Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, where a Shiite-led opposition is demanding the downfall of the government.
No signs of popular discontent have yet surfaced in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, three key allies of Washington which are ruled by monarchies.