US Military Chief in Gulf Visits Kuwait
The commander of US forces in the Gulf, General Tommy Franks, arrived in Kuwait Sunday for a three-day visit, his second to the emirate in less than four months, the US embassy said.
"General Franks will meet with the Kuwaiti leadership to discuss regional security issues, bilateral cooperation and to underscore the US commitment and strong friendship," the embassy said in a statement.
Franks, who is on a Gulf tour, will also visit American troops deployed in Kuwait to discuss their training and mission readiness, it added.
His visit started just a few hours after US Secretary of Defense William Cohen concluded a short visit to the emirate. Franks visited Kuwait in July.
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.
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.
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.
Since May 1997, Franks has commanded the US Third Army, whose forces are deployed throughout the region for continuous training -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)