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US works to assure Gulf allies

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been in Paris to try and ease tensions with Gulf allies over the prospective Iran nuclear deal ahead of the GCC meeting in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, accompanied by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, right, speaks at a joint news conference at the Chief of Mission Residence, Paris, France, Friday, May 8, 2015, following a meeting with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council. REUTERS/Andrew Harnik/Pool - RTX1C5BX
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Washington — US efforts to bolster reassurance to Sunni Gulf allies amid growing prospects for reaching an Iran nuclear deal tried to recover from awkwardness and bruised feelings after Saudi Arabia announced that King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud would not attend a White House-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting May 13-14 after the White House had said he would.

President Barack Obama spoke by phone with Salman on May 11, the White House’s Ben Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters. Saudi Arabia’s new Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the king’s decision not to attend the summit was “not a snub” to the United States, and noted the decision to send both Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — Salman's son and defense minister — was “unprecedented."

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