In Unstable Middle East, Obama Moves to Reassure GCC States

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The Obama administration faces many severe challenges in the Middle East, ranging from preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon to brokering peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But President Barack Obama’s trip to the region last week was partly aimed at addressing a lower-profile problem—the emerging fissures in the traditional partnership between the U.S. and the six nations of the Saudi Arabia-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). “Bilateral U.S. relationships with the GCC states are strong,” explains Stephen McInerney of the Project on Middle East Democracy in a phone interview, but there are “tensions and suspicions” relating to foreign policy on […]

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