RELIGION

Gulf Arab royals meet in Saudi capital to unify Iran stance

  • In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press agency, SPA, Saudi crown prince, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz talks during the opening of Gulf Cooperation Countries, GCC, Interior, Foreign, Defence Ministers Start Joint Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Interior Ministry via AP)

    In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press agency, SPA, Saudi crown prince, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz talks during the opening of Gulf Cooperation Countries, GCC, Interior, Foreign, Defence Ministers Start Joint Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Interior Ministry via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press agency, SPA, Saudi crown prince, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, centre, poses with the Gulf nations ministers during the opening of Gulf Cooperation Countries, GCC, Interior, Foreign, Defence Ministers Joint Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Interior Ministry via AP)

    In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press agency, SPA, Saudi crown prince, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, centre, poses with the Gulf nations ministers during the opening of Gulf Cooperation Countries, GCC, Interior, Foreign, Defence Ministers Joint Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Interior Ministry via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press agency, SPA, Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reacts during the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Countries, GCC, Interior, Foreign, Defence Ministers Joint Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Interior Ministry via AP)

    In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 photo released by Saudi Press agency, SPA, Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reacts during the opening of the Gulf Cooperation Countries, GCC, Interior, Foreign, Defence Ministers Joint Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Saudi Interior Ministry via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Royals from Gulf Arab countries have met in Saudi Arabia to discuss the region's security and try and formulate a unified voice on Shiite rival Iran.

The meeting in Riyadh on Thursday included the defense, interior and foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The tightly allied bloc is led by Saudi Arabia and includes the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

Bahrain's Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa directly named Iran in opening remarks, accusing the Shiite power of being behind attacks that have killed security forces there.

The Sunni-led monarchy of Bahrain has weathered years of protests by the country's majority Shiites and blames Iran for fueling the unrest.

However, Qatar and Kuwait have recently improved ties with Iran while Oman has remained neutral.