President Barack Obama is meeting with top officials from the six U.S.-allied countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss security issues. The April 21 meeting in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, follows bilateral talks between Obama and Saudi King Salman the day before.
The GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
The White House said the meeting will include a session aimed at fostering regional stability and another at counterterrorism efforts including the fight against Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
A third session will focus on Shi'ite Iran, which Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states see as a destabilizing rival in the region.
At talks with King Salman, Obama's aids said he made it clear he would like the Sunni-led states to "share the neighborhood" with Iran.
"The president and King discussed the challenges posed by Iran's provocative activities in the region, agreeing on the importance of an inclusive approach to de-escalating regional conflicts," the White House said.
Intense rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has spread to nearly every sphere this year, from soccer and oil production to the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
Obama also called on the Gulf's wealthy oil states to help Iraq battle IS and rebuild cities like Ramadi which were ravaged by the extremist group.
Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP
... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --