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Aug 24, 2013 9:41 PM by Associated Press

Mideast defense chiefs to meet in Jordan

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon says U.S. Central Command and the Jordanian Armed Forces are co-hosting Mideast defense chiefs in Jordan over the next few days to discuss the region's security environment.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, is attending.

The meeting, planned since June, comes as the U.S. and other nations ponder what action to take, if any, in the wake of reports that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in its civil war. Although Syria denies such claims, they are certain to be a leading topic for the gathering.

A Defense Department spokesman, George Little, says the exchange is designed in part to increase the collective understanding of the impact of regional conflicts on nations.

The conference is set for Sunday to Tuesday.

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