U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a joint news conference with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera at the Pentagon in Washington April 29, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) Image Credit: REUTERS

Manama: US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel will attend the Manama Dialogue, an international security conference to be held in the Bahraini capital on December 6-8.

Hagel’s attendance will reinforce a high-profile US presence at the various conferences launched in 2004 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and now in their ninth year.

“US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel’s decision to lead an impressive US delegation to the IISS Manama Dialogue is a mark of the unique opportunities for defence diplomacy and conflict resolution offered by the Manama Dialogue platform,” John Chipman, IISS Director-General and Chief Executive, said. “US defence and security engagement with the region is important and the presence of Secretary Hagel will help to bolster consultations between the region and the US,” he said.

IISS said that Manama Dialogue was a crucial pillar of the regional security architecture and provided a platform for ministers, chiefs of defence staff and national security leaders to consult bilaterally and multilaterally on key security and foreign policy challenges facing the region.

“With some 20 foreign and defence ministers and dozens of senior national security officials already confirmed to participate, this year’s summit is poised to address key themes of Gulf and Middle East security including Syria, Egypt, regional conflict resolution, the management of political Islam and sectarianism as well as the future of GCC integration and military cooperation,” IISS said.