Gulf leaders hold summit in Saudi over Yemen

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RIYADH: Gulf monarchs gather on Tuesday for an extraordinary summit, in the presence of French President Francois Hollande, as international concern grows over the war in Yemen.

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The six Sunni-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council states meet in the Saudi capital with their region also threatened by jihadists, and amid concerns over a potential final nuclear deal with Iran.

Paris has been deepening political and economic relations with the oil and gas-rich Gulf monarchies.

Hollande arrived in Riyadh from GCC member Qatar, where he was present on Monday for the signing of a 6.3-billion-euro ($7-billion) deal between French aerospace firm Dassault and Qatari defense officials.

The agreement includes an order for 24 Rafale fighter jets, with an option on a further 12.

His presence as “guest of honor” at the Gulf summit comes just over a week before the GCC heads of state travel to their traditional ally Washington for talks.

President Barack Obama called that meeting to brainstorm on reducing regio-nal conflicts and in a bid to allay Gulf fears over any US rapprochement with Iran.

AFP

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