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Kuwait, Qatar to join US-led naval coalition – Washington

Qatar and Kuwait have told the United States that they will join a US-led naval coalition in the Gulf which was established in response to a series of attacks on oil tankers, a US military official said on Monday.

“Qatar and Kuwait have already told us they are going to join, so it is just a matter of time,” Reuters quoted US Army Colonel John Conklin, chief of staff of the coalition, as saying. Conklin said they were expected to provide personnel and patrol boats.

The coalition, based out of Bahrain and known as the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), was formed after a series of attacks earlier this year heightened the risk of disruption to Gulf oil exports shipped through the Strait of Hormuz.

So far the coalition has received a lukewarm response with Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom joining. France is spearheading a European-led mission independent of the US-led maritime initiative, which some European countries feared would make US-Iranian tensions worse.

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