Obama seeks to reassure Gulf allies on Iran, security at summit

Obama welcomes Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as he plays host to leaders and delegations from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries at the White House in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton CAMP DAVID, Md. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama sought to reassure Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies on Thursday of Washington's commitment to their security despite deep concern among Arab leaders about U.S. efforts to broker a nuclear deal with Iran. Obama, hosting the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for a rare summit at the Camp David presidential retreat, faced the challenge of allaying Gulf Arab fears that the possible lifting of international sanctions on Tehran would embolden it to further destabilize the region. "What we feel is most appropriate here is saying very clearly before the entire world that we're committed to the defense of these countries," Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, told reporters. Differences over U.S. policy toward Tehran, Syria’s civil war and the Arab Spring uprisings loomed over the meetings, which were already clouded by the absence of most of the Gulf’s ruling monarchs, who instead sent lower-level officials.


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