The Latest: Obama: Better dialogue needed with Gulf allies

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama’s meeting with top officials from six Arab nations in Saudi Arabia. (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

President Barack Obama says there’s a need for better communication with America’s Gulf Arab allies, and that summits like Thursday’s in Saudi Arabia are a step in that direction.

Obama’s comments come after meetings in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, with leaders from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council.

The president says the formation of a new government in Libya and peace talks to end fighting in Yemen — along with last year’s nuclear deal with Iran — wouldn’t have been possible without support from the Gulf states.

Obama say there’s a need for “consistent, institutionalized communication” with countries in the region because “the possibilities of misunderstanding increase when there’s so much activity taking place.”


4 p.m.

President Barack Obama says the United States and Arab allies remain united in their efforts to destroy the Islamic State group and will continue to increase their contributions to the fight.

Obama is speaking after meeting with U.S.-allied countries in Saudi Arabia.

The president says the leaders have agreed to enhance humanitarian efforts in Iraq and Syria. He says they also continue to see violations of a fragile cease-fire agreement in Syria and that they agree the road ahead there must have a transitional government, a new constitution with free elections and a move away from President Bashar Assad.

Obama says that the leaders also continue to have serious concerns about the behavior of the Iranian government.