Obama bids to mend fences with Gulf royals at Camp David

US President Barack Obama greets Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan on the South Lawn of the White House on May 13, 2015 in WashingtonBarack Obama was to whisk Gulf leaders away to his Camp David presidential retreat Thursday, hoping to salvage a fence-mending summit already bedeviled by disagreements and royal no-shows. The bucolic Catoctin Mountain getaway, synonymous with Middle East peacemaking during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, will again be a venue for an attempted reconciliation. President Obama faces the tough task of convincing assorted emirs, princes and sheikhs that his willingness to negotiate with their foe Iran does not represent a pivot away from long-standing allies. Obama praised guests Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their work on counterterrorism, which the US president described as “absolutely critical” to the United States.

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