NEWS | Nov. 1, 2015

CENTCOM commander attends multi-national conference in Bahrain

By By Marine Cpl. Jordan Belser, CENTCOM Headquarters

MANAMA, Bahrain (Nov. 1, 2015) — U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander, U.S. Central Command, visited Bahrain Friday to participate in the 2015 Manama Dialogue hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

The three-day conference, which concluded today, brought military and political leaders from the GCC and other international partners together to discuss issues relevant to the Arabian Gulf region. The conference featured several panels in which attendees first listened to participant’s statements, and then were afforded the opportunity to ask questions.

Among the topics discussed were the counter-ISIL campaign, civil unrest in Yemen, the crisis in Syria, and threats posed by Iran.

Austin also capitalized on the opportunity to speak on U.S. military policy in the region and explained the top three focus areas in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR).

“A convergence of interests, namely the need to counter the threat posed by Daesh and other violent extremist groups, has afforded a unique opportunity to strengthen ties among nations and also contribute to improving stability and security throughout the region,” said Austin. “And, we are seeing progress being made in a number of places.”

Also in attendance were Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State.

Between panels, Austin hosted bi-lateral meetings with military and political leaders from several regional partner nations. These meetings give Austin the chance to have “one-on-one” discussions about issues relevant to that specific region.

Manama was the final stop on Austin’s most recent trip to the CENTCOM AOR.