Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Obama expected to push for Gulf missile defense at U.S. summit | Reuters

Obama expected to push for Gulf missile defense at U.S. summit | Reuters: President Barack Obama isexpected to make a renewed U.S. push next week to help Gulfallies create a region-wide defense system to guard againstIranian missiles as he seeks to allay their anxieties over anynuclear deal with Tehran, according to U.S. sources.

The offer could be accompanied by enhanced securitycommitments, new arms sales and more joint military exercises,U.S. officials say, as Obama tries to reassure Gulf Arabcountries that Washington is not abandoning them.

With little more than a week to go before Obama hosts thesix-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at the White House and thenat Camp David, aides are discussing the options in pre-summitmeetings with Arab diplomats. Officials say no final decisionson possible U.S. proposals have been made.

Obama faces a formidable challenge in deciding how far to goto sell skeptical Sunni-led allies on his top foreign policypriority, a final nuclear deal with Shi'ite Iran due by a June30 deadline. Failure to placate them could further strain ties,though additional defense obligations would carry the risk ofthe United States being drawn into new Middle East conflicts.