Gulf Arabs fear new militant generation in Iraq


"The basis of a security agreement has been arranged and it can be renewed if circumstances require," Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz said in comments carried on the official Saudi news agency SPA yesterday. Prince Nayef, who last month announced the arrest of 172 suspected militants, said Saudi Arabia had deported five men to Kuwait who had been detained in Medina for distributing militant propaganda tapes.

Addressing interior ministers of the six US-allied Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries on Sunday, Prince Nayef said Iraq represented a security threat for the whole region. "The security situation in Iraq is deteriorating and terrorism is growing there. Iraq has become fertile ground for creating a new generation of terrorists learning and practising all forms of murder and destruction," he said.

"The lax security situation in Iraq bears great dangers for our region and stability … in our countries." Iraq has long been asking for Arab countries to do more to secure borders and prevent militants arriving in Iraq.

Islamist militants swearing allegiance to Al Qaeda have been fighting US forces and the US-allied Iraqi government since 2003 when the United States invaded the country and toppled the government of Saddam Hussein.

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