May 11, 2015

Can Obama Save the GCC Summit?

By Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas Heras, and Shawn Brimley

As President Barack Obama and the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) sit down at Camp David this week, the White House’s goal is clear: reassure America’s Middle Eastern partners that it remains committed to their security. But the summit is clearly not off to a good start, with only two of the six GCC monarchs planning to attend — and King Salman of Saudi Arabia waiting until the last moment to announce he is not coming.

According to media reports, the Obama administration is preparing to assuage skepticism toward the potential nuclear agreement with Iran by focusing on new security arrangements and billions of dollars in weapons that the United States may offer to sell to the Gulf states. Arms sales and security guarantees may be a piece of the equation — but they won’t be enough. The most effective way for the Obama administration to make headway with the Gulf is by signaling a more comprehensive approach to countering Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Read the full article at Foreign Policy.

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