Begin forwarded message:
From: Michael Shear >
Date: April 21, 2016 at 4:16:36 PM GMT+3
To: "Gabriel, Brian A. Jr. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Travel Pool Report #3 - Statement from Obama
King Salman spoke first in Arabic calling the summit "constructive and fruitful."
POTUS made brief statement at the end of the GCC summit. Seated around a round table with the other Gulf leaders, POTUS thanked King Salman for his hospitality.
He said the meetings "reviewed important progress" since the last one at Camp David a year ago. He said the leaders agreed to "build an even stronger partnership between our nations."
He said the countries "remain united" in the fight against ISIL and said the GCC pledged to continue to increase the resources of its countries dedicated to that fight.
He pledged to use "all elements of our power" to deter external aggression against our allies.
He spoke of training the Arab allies Special Forces to help in the counter Isil fight and the need for diplomacy to deescalate regional conflicts.
The Syrian cease fire is under "tremendous strain," he said.
POTUS said that the GCC partners agree with the United States that there is a need for a "political transition away from Assad." And he said that in Yemen, the leaders agreed to continue supporting the peace process in that country.
POTUS thanked the GCC countries for support of the Iran nuclear deal, which he said "Cut off every single one of Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon." But he said the United States contineus to have "serious concerns" about Iran's behavior in the region.
POTUS said, however, that "none of our nations have an interest in conflict with Iran," he said, raising the possibility of diplomacy to resolve conflicts in Yemen and Syria.
He also mentioned that he talked with the Gulf leaders about human rights, saying that "true and lasting security" depends on an economy that serves everyone and respects human rights.
In conclusion, he added that he is confident that in a year they will be able to say that "all of our nations are more secure and more peaceful and more prosperous."
Michael D. Shear
White House Correspondent
The New York Times