US and Gulf leaders announce new measures for stability in the Middle-East

US and Gulf leaders announce new measures for stability in the Middle-East

-NRN/Reuters

US President Barack Obama and Gulf leaders have discussed strategies for addressing the crisis in Syria and stabilising the Middle-East.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says the Obama administration is open to evaluating the option of a no-fly zone, to help with the Syrian conflict, but he has reiterated the measure is not seen as a viable way to address fighting in urban areas.

The White House has also confirmed it has not independently verified new reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, as international inspectors have reportedly found traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at a military research site in the country.

President Obama also vowed to back Gulf allies against any “external attack,” seeking to reassure them of Washington’s iron-clad commitment to their security amid Arab anxiety over U.S.-led efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

Hosting the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for a rare summit at Camp David,  President Obama pledged that the United States would consider using military force to defend them and would also help address Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the region.”

“I am reaffirming our iron-clad commitment to the security of our Gulf partners,” President Obama told a closing news conference at the presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains outside Washington.

However he stopped short of offering a formal defense treaty that some Gulf countries had sought and instead announced more modest measures, including helping them to integrate ballistic missile defense systems, streamlining weapons sales and increasing military training.

With the United States and five other world powers facing a June 30 deadline for a final deal with Iran on curbing its nuclear program, President Obama also sought to allay Gulf Arab fears that the potential lifting of international sanctions on Tehran would embolden it in the region and increase the risk of it fueling more sectarian strife.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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