US Military Chief in Gulf Holds Talks with Kuwait's Emir
The commander of US forces in the Gulf, on his second visit to the emirate in four months, held talks on Tuesday with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
General Tommy Franks also met with Crown Prince Sheikh Saad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah and senior military officials, the official KUNA news agency reported.
Franks arrived in Kuwait Sunday as part of a Gulf tour and visited American troops deployed in the Gulf emirate to discuss their training and mission readiness.
The US military has a 4,500-strong contingent in Kuwait that uses equipment stockpiled at Camp Doha, west of the capital, for joint maneuvers and live firing practice.
The forces deployed here and in Saudi Arabia have been on maximum alert since the October 12 attack on USS Cole that killed 17 US sailors.
US President Bill Clinton appointed Franks commander-in-chief of the US Central Command -- headquartered in Tampa, Florida -- 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.
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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