WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has invited leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council to Washington to discuss their security concerns over a framework agreement reached with Iran.
The five permanent members of the United Nations — Britain, China, France, Russia and the US — and Germany concluded a plan of action with Iran on Thursday, which places widespread restrictions on the country’s nuclear programme.
In return for Iran’s acceptance of these restrictions, the arrangement relaxes crippling international sanctions on Tehran.
While negotiators in Lausanne, Switzerland, were still relaxing from the fatigue of the marathon talks that led to the framework agreement, President Obama started calling world leaders to remove their concerns about the new arrangement with Iran.
In his call to King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia he reaffirmed “our commitment to the security of our partners in the Gulf”.
Mr Obama later told his nation that he was inviting the leaders of the GCC countries — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain — to “meet me at Camp David this spring to discuss how we can further strengthen our security cooperation, while resolving the multiple conflicts that have caused so much hardship and instability throughout the Middle East”.
President Obama assured the Saudi king that the nuclear understanding between the P5+1 and Iran “will not in any way lessen US concern about Iran’s destabilising activities in the region”, the White House said.
He said the months ahead would be used to finalise the technical details for a lasting, comprehensive solution that “effectively cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme”. “The leaders agreed to increase consultations and remain vigilant in countering this threat,” the White House said.
In his call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama emphasised that the United States “remains steadfast in our commitment to the security of Israel”.
The US president told Mr Netanyahu that he had directed his national security team to increase consultations with the new Israeli government “about how we can further strengthen our long-term security cooperation with Israel and remain vigilant in countering Iran’s threats”.