Obama in Saudi Arabia calls for 'better communication' with Gulf allies

Riyadh: President Barack Obama said on Thursday that there is a need for better communication with America's Gulf Arab allies, and that summits like Thursday's in Saudi Arabia are a step in that direction.

Obama's comments come after meetings in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, with leaders from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council.

File photo of US President Barack Obama. AFP

File photo of US President Barack Obama. AFP

The president said that the formation of a new government in Libya and peace talks to end fighting in Yemen — along with last year's nuclear deal with Iran — wouldn't have been possible without support from the Gulf states.

Obama said that there was a need for "consistent, institutionalized communication" with countries in the region because "the possibilities of misunderstanding increase when there's so much activity taking place."

He added that the United States and Arab allies remain united in their efforts to destroy the Islamic State group and will continue to increase their contributions to the fight.

The president also said that the leaders had agreed to enhance humanitarian efforts in Iraq and Syria, including continuing to monitor violations of a fragile cease-fire agreement in Syria and that they agree the road ahead there must have a transitional government, a new constitution with free elections and a move away from President Bashar Assad.

Obama also noted that the leaders also continue to have serious concerns about the behavior of the Iranian government.

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Updated Date: Apr 21, 2016 19:49:38 IST

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