French President Hollande Becomes First Foreign Leader to Attend GCC SummitThe Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states met today in Riyadh to discuss regional developments, most significantly the ongoing crisis in Yemen.
French President Francois Hollande became the first foreign leader to attend a GCC Summit since its inception in 1981. It was also the first summit for King Salman who took the throne on 23 January. New Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman also were in attendance.
Hollande has openly sided with the GCC states on major issues in the region, including the military intervention in Yemen and a possible military intervention in Syria. Hollane is also cautious about a final nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers and wants to balance any future agreement with strong guarantees to the GCC states.
UPDATE: Saudi King Salman called on fellow GCC leaders to stand up to Iran, saying there was a need to confront an external threat that "aims to expand control and impose its hegemony," threatening regional stability and creating "sectarian sedition."
Photo credit: French President Francois Hollande attends the GCC Summit in Riyadh; 5 May 2015 (AP)