President Barack Obama has invited the heads of several of America’s Arab allies from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the White House and then to Camp David to discuss several important Mideast regional issues such as the Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
In a statement, the White House said it will host leaders from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates on May 13, before the group heads to the presidential retreat at Camp David on May 14 to “discuss ways to enhance their partnership and deepen security cooperation.”
The move comes as several key Arab allies of the U.S. have expressed skepticism over the Iran nuclear negotiations and fear that the recently reached framework deal would allow Iran to continue to destabilize and try to dominate the region. Similar skepticism has also been expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Saudi Arabia currently leads a coalition of Arab states who have launched air strikes on Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Many of the GCC countries are also participating in the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria. Additionally, several leading Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, recently announced the formation of a joint Arab military combat regional threats such as Islamic extremism and Iran.