The United States and the United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday that mutual defense cooperation agreement had come into force, amid increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran.
"The DCA (Defense Cooperation Agreement) will enhance militarycoordination between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, furtheradvancing an already robust military, political, and economic partnership at acritical time," a joint statement said.
"The United States and the United Arab Emirates share a deepinterest in promoting prosperity and stability in the region.
"The DCA will advance that interest by fostering closer collaborationon defense and security matters and supporting efforts by both nations tomaintain security in the Gulf region."
US national security advisor John Bolton was in Abu Dhabi Wednesday,meeting his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Bolton said Iran was almost certainly behind recent oil tanker attacksthat sent Gulf tensions soaring. Riyadh's regional rival Tehran dismissed theaccusation as "laughable".
This came on the eve of emergency Arab and Gulf summits called by SaudiArabia to discuss the stand-off and ways to isolate Tehran.
Two Saudi oil tankers, among four vessels, were the targets ofmysterious acts of sabotage off the UAE this month, and Iran-aligned Yemenirebels have stepped up drone attacks on the kingdom — one of which resulted inthe temporary shutdown of a major oil pipeline.
Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of being the mastermind behindthe Yemeni rebels' attack on the pipeline, while an investigation has beenlaunched into the attacks on ships off the UAE.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump bypassed Congress to sell $8.1billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, citing the allegedthreat from Iran.