New US Military Chief in Gulf Meets Kuwaiti Emir
The new commander of US forces in the Gulf, General Tommy Franks, met Saturday with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah on his first visit to the emirate since taking up the post two months ago.
He was also to meet the crown prince and Kuwait's foreign and defense ministers and hold talks with senior military officials on "aspects of military cooperation between the two friendly countries", the official KUNA news agency said.
Franks arrived on Friday for a two-day visit, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and kicking off a Gulf tour.
US President Bill Clinton appointed Franks commander-in-chief of the US Central Command in May, following the retirement of Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni.
The Central Command, one of five US regional commands, covers an area stretching from Pakistan to Egypt. In the Gulf, about 25,000 US troops are stationed aboard ships and at bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The US military has a 4,000-strong contingent in Kuwait that uses equipment stockpiled at Camp Doha, west of the capital, for joint maneuvers and live firing practice.
Franks was assistant commander of the First Cavalry Division during the 1991 Gulf War, when a US-led coalition liberated Kuwait after seven months of Iraqi occupation - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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