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Obama gives his first interview to an Arab paper

President Barack Obama’s efforts to sweeten US relations with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) have not been restricted to the leadership. On 13 May, Saudi-owned pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat published what the White House said was Obama’s first interview with an Arabic-language publication, and two days later – after the 13-14 May US-GCC summit- he gave an exclusive interview to Al Arabiya News. Both outlets are seen as close to the Saudi authorities; Asharq Al-Awsat is owned by the Saudi Research and Marketing Organisation, whose chairman is King Salman’s son, Prince Turki Bin Salman, while Al Arabiya, long seen as reflecting the view from the palaces of Riyadh

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