Road to Camp David

The talk leading up to President Obama’s summit with the leaders of the six Arab nations comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council focused on the supposed “snub” by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who opted not to attend after initially signaling that he would.

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Officials of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), wrapping up a May 14 summit at Camp David, endorsed US President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran saying a “comprehensive, verifiable” accord is in their security interests.

But in reality, the much-publicized gathering turned out to be “much ado about very little”—and Gulf states are actually deeply disappointed—said Dov Zakheim, Senior Fellow at CNA Corp. and a former US Undersecretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration. 

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Leaders wanted more than ‘just a statement and more weapons sales’ out of Camp David summit, says Atlantic Council’s Pavel

The decision by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and three other Arab leaders to skip a May 14 summit with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders at Camp David reflects deep unhappiness among Washington’s Gulf partners over US President Barack Obama’s overtures to Iran, and his unwillingness to pursue a formal defense treaty with the six-member bloc, says the Atlantic Council’s Barry Pavel.

“There was a meeting in Paris last week at the foreign ministry level, and that meeting was where the United States unveiled its proposal,” said Pavel, Vice President and Director of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. “But it didn’t go far enough for the preferences of the Gulf states. Once that worked its way through the system, they started to downgrade their representation.”

He added: “It’s just another unfortunate milestone in a series, where relationships have suffered from unmet expectations, perhaps on both sides.”

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When President Barack Obama welcomes leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to Camp David later this week for the rare honor of a two-day gathering at the presidential retreat, he will be hosting representatives of an unusual collection of hereditary monarchies.

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A string of defeats for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad since late March in north and south Syria has broken the stalemate that existed for more than a year and potentially opens up space for the West and its regional partners in the Arab world to pursue a negotiated solution to a war now in its fifth year.

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The recent victories of Islamist and jihadist forces in Syria portend the possible demise of the Assad regime, but also the advent of a potentially vicious internecine struggle within the jihadist front and between it and the more secular nationalist rebel movement.

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President Barack Obama will host the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders next week at the White House and Camp David to discuss security issues in the Middle East.

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Leaders from the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will convene at Camp David on May 13 and 14, where they were initially invited to deliberate with President Barack Obama on the Iranian nuclear framework agreement.

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US President Barack Obama will convene a meeting of leaders from all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries— Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—at the White House and Camp David on May 13 and 14, respectively.

The meeting aims to address the Gulf states’ concerns about a nuclear deal that the P5+1, which includes the United States, is negotiating with Iran. It will also focus on finding ways to deepen security cooperation.

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The purpose of the upcoming summit at Camp David between President Barack Obama and leaders from the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is clear. America’s traditional partners in the Gulf feel nervous in the wake of an announced framework agreement that will allow Iran to keep its latent nuclear weapons capability, while providing Tehran with billions of dollars of sanctions relief that it can use to expand its malign influence in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere.

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