Al Arabiya, By Nadia Bilbassy-Charters, May 15
The White House Map Room – Q Mr. President, thank you very much for your time.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s great to be with you. Thank you.
Q You concluded the summit. Was it successful? Were there any sticking points that either you or your government did not achieve?
THE PRESIDENT: I think it was very successful. And the intentions here were to deepen and broaden what is already an excellent relationship between the GCC countries and the United States.
Obviously, we have a whole range of bilateral security arrangements with the various GCC countries. We’ve consulted and worked with them on a range of regional challenges. But I thought the time was ripe for us to be able to come together as a group, to talk face-to-face about a wide range of these issues, and then to put forward very specific plans in terms of how we can address them.
So the joint statement that we issued I think reflected the wide range of topics that were discussed. We discussed the important security assurances that I had delivered publicly in venues like the United Nations and had discussed privately, but I think it was important for them, at a time when there’s so much chaos in the region, for the GCC members to hear that the United States is committed, if they are subject to external attack or the threat of attack, to work with the GCC to deter such attacks and to defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the GCC countries.
We also talked about the joint work that we have to do to counter violent extremism in a whole range of areas, from ending the financing of terrorist organizations to improving intelligence, to what kinds of capabilities — for example, maritime security or cybersecurity — that are needed. And some of these areas are ones where it’s better if we do them together in integrated fashion.
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