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Kerry holds talks on Iran deal with top Gulf leaders


John Kerry. Source: Wikipedia

John Kerry. Source: Wikipedia

ryJOHN Kerry, the United States (U.S.) secretary of state, is meeting senior officials of Arab Gulf states to reassure them over last month’s nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.

Kerry met the Emir of Qatar yesterday morning ahead of a separate meeting with the foreign ministers from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

He is expected to hold a news conference later in the day with Qatar’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah. 

At the start of Kerry’s meeting with GCC foreign ministers, Al Attiyah enumerated a number of other issues including the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the pursuit for an independent Palestinian state.   

Ahead of Kerry’s arrival, foreign ministers of the GCC held a preparatory meeting in Doha on Sunday.

The Gulf Arab states have publicly welcomed the deal reached last month in Vienna but many have expressed private reservations.

Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Doha, said that GCC officials are expected to “voice their concerns with the Iran deal”.

“This is quite a delicate moment for the Gulf countries,” he said. “They are worried that Iran might finally be able to foster ties with the West, get the sanctions lifted and pursue an active role in the region.”  

Our correspondent said that there are concerns that Iran continues to back the Assad regime in Syria and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Kerry is also expected to discuss the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria and Iraq. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also arrived separately in Doha on Sunday night with plans to hold a three-way meeting with his Saudi Arabian counterpart

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