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Obama to host Gulf leaders in May

AFP , Friday 17 Apr 2015
File Photo:President Barack Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington April 2, 2015 (Photo: AP)

US President Barack Obama will welcome the six leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdoms in mid-May for talks on Iran's nuclear program and the conflicts in Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

The White House said the May 13 meetings at the White House and May 14 gathering at Camp David "will be an opportunity for the leaders to discuss ways to enhance their partnership and deepen security cooperation."

The meeting was announced in early April by Obama, who is seeking to reassure Gulf states following a framework accord reached on Tehran's contested nuclear program earlier in the month.

Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia fears its regional rival Iran, which has a Shia government, will continue to develop an atomic bomb after the sanctions that are strangling Iran's economy are lifted.

Meanwhile, last month, a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes in Yemen against the allegedly Iranian-backed Shia rebels fighting Yemeni forces.

The White House will welcome the leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates during the May meetings.

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