JEDDAH: President Joe Biden, speaking at a summit of Arab Gulf leaders, said on Saturday that the United States “will not walk away’’ from the Middle East as he tries to ensure stability in a volatile corner of the globe and boost the worldwide flow of oil to reverse rising gas prices.
His remarks were delivered at the Gulf Cooperation Council as he closes out the final leg of a four-day trip.
“We will not walk away and leave a vacuum...,’’ Biden said. “We will seek to build on this moment with active, principled, American leadership.’’
Although US forces continue to target terrorists in the region and remain deployed at bases throughout the Middle East, Biden suggested that he was turning the page after the country’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Today, I’m proud to be able to say that the eras of land wars in the region, wars that involved huge numbers of American forces, is not under way,’’ he said.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, addressing a US-Arab summit, said that unified efforts were required to support the global economy and that unrealistic policies regarding energy sources would only lead to inflation.
The summit reaffirms the points made by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the I2U2 Summit which was a day earlier with US, India and Israel participating.
Prior to the summit, the UAE announced an investment initiative in Indian food parks in order to ensure global food security. This is also related to the current summit.
The UAE is taking part to strengthen Gulf unity and guarantee the security of the Gulf and its people.
The country views the participation of Arab countries in the summit as a sign of Arab unity in the face of regional and global crises.
The UAE reiterates that its participation in the Jeddah Security and Development Summit is consistent with its policies aimed at fostering international collaboration in order to counter regional challenges and risks.
The UAE and its leadership believe that such summits are the best way to foster collaboration, achieve peace, and avert conflicts amongst all of the region’s peoples and nations.
The historic relationship between the US and our region has to be maintained and developed.
The UAE strives to enhance communication, dialogue, and joint action.
It plays a major role in addressing many issues facing humanity, foremost of which are climate change, sustainable energy, security, and food.
The country believes that promoting peace, dialogue, and coexistence are the best way to fortify the future of generations to come.
It welcomes summits of this nature, as they allow the nation to reaffirm its commitment to bringing about peace and goodwill amongst nations and peoples.
The UAE-US relationship is strategically significant and serves as a good example of how balanced international relations should be.
The Gulf and Arab solidarity, in which the UAE is part of during these important historical occasions, provide the region with instruments to combat the myriad challenges and dangers.
The UAE, its leadership, and its people will not hesitate to support international partnerships with the United States and all countries seeking global prosperity.
“Adopting unrealistic policies to reduce emissions by excluding main sources of energy will lead in coming years to unprecedented inflation and an increase in energy prices and rising unemployment and a worsening of serious social and security problems,” he said.
He said COVID-19 and the geopolitical situation necessitated more joint efforts to support the global economy and that environmental challenges required a “realistic and responsible” approach to gradually transition to sustainable energy sources.
Biden also pressed his counterparts to ensure human rights, including women’s rights, and allow their citizens to speak openly.
$1 billion in food aid
“The future will be won by the countries that unleash the full potential of their populations,” he said.
Biden said the United States would commit $1 billion in food aid to the Middle East and North Africa amid rising food insecurity induced by the war in Ukraine.
Saudi Prince Mohammed said he hoped it would “establish a new era of joint cooperation to deepen the strategic partnership between our countries and the United States of America, to serve our common interests and enhance security and development in this vital region for the whole world.”
Biden meets Arab leaders as he pushes for Israeli integration
Biden earlier held a swift series of meetings with the leaders of the UAE, Iraq and Egypt as he sought to forge regional missile and defence capabilities at a wider Arab summit in Saudi Arabia.
“We believe there’s great value in including as many of the capabilities in this region as possible and certainly Israel has significant air and missile defence capabilities, as they need to. But we’re having these discussion bilaterally with these nations,” a senior administration official told reporters.
In his meeting with Biden, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi discussed food security and disruptions to energy supplies, the Egyptian presidency said.
Israel, which shares their concerns over Iran, encouraged Biden’s trip to the kingdom, hoping it would foster a warming between Saudi Arabia and Israel as part of a wider Arab rapprochement after the UAE and Bahrain forged ties with Israel in US-brokered pacts that received Riyadh’s blessings.