Obama pledges protection to GCC states

Obama reassures security of Gulf states against any event of aggression or threat of aggression, promising to protect them

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United States President Barack Obama said on Thursday in case of any threat to Gulf countries, the US would use its military force to defend them, reassuring Washington’s iron-clad commitment to their security.

Obama’s comments came during a press conference in Camp David after a summit with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman amid their concerns over Iran’s nuclear negotiation progress on the US-led talks with other world powers.

“In the event of such aggression or the threat of such aggression, the United States stands ready to work with our GCC partners to urgently determine what actions may be appropriate, using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force for the defence of our GCC partners," said Obama.

In the summit, the US pledged the GCC states more modest measures to protect and defend their countries, which also included helping them to develop region-wide ballistic missile defence system, including early warning technology, with US technical assistance.

The US also promised the GCC nations to provide better weapon sales agreements, and increase military training.

However, the sides gave no further information about meeting on common grounds on policy differences between the US and the Gulf states, such as the Syrian civil war, and the Arab Spring uprising.

Such differences speculated that the most of the Gulf ruling monarchs had not attended the summit, but sent lower-level officials instead.

Saudi Arabia King Salman announced his decision to not attend the summit on Sunday, as many other Gulf states have been also represented at the ministerial level since the leaders are not attending.  

Kuwait and Qatar are the only two Gulf countries to be represented by their ruling monarchs in the summit, while the others are all sending their lower-ranking officials.

The Obama administration’s such policy differences didn’t play any role on the attendances of the summit, and also adding that there were no major breakthroughs in fact.

Obama pledged the GCC members that US would eliminate their concerns about the US-Iran relations.

“Secretary Jack Lew was there to explain that, first of all, there would be no sanctions relief until we could confirm that Iran had actually carried out its obligations under any nuclear deal," Obama said.

TRTWorld and agencies