The Jeddah Security and Development Summit underway in Jeddah, on July 16, 2022. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Six GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries plus Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and the US on Saturday reaffirmed their commitment to guarantee the security and stability of the region, voicing support to all diplomatic efforts that aim to reduce tensions.

During a summit in Jeddah, in which US President Joe Biden also participated, the leaders reaffirmed keenness to boost cooperation to develop defence capabilities and confront threats posed by drones and missiles of terrorist militias and armed groups, according to Al Arabiya.

“The GCC welcomes the US’s reaffirmation that it will always work with the GCC to deter and confront all external threats against the [GCC’s] security and against vital maritime passages particularly the straits of Hormuz and Bab Al Mandeb,” the statement said, Al Arabiya said.

Addressing the summit, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan asserted that the UAE is keen to bolster cooperation between countries in the region and coordination with partners to achieve peace and further stability in the region and the world, as well as tackle global challenges.

“We are all aware of the size of challenges that the region and the world are facing, and from that arises a need to align and enhance global efforts to achieve our peoples’ aspirations of further progress and prosperity,” Sheikh Mohamed said.

Global economy

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman told the summit that unified efforts were required to support the global economy and that unrealistic policies regarding energy sources would only lead to inflation.

“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.

Earlier, President Joe Biden told the leaders that the US would remain an active partner in the Middle East, but he failed to secure commitments to a regional security axis that would include Israel or an immediate oil output rise.

“The United States is invested in building a positive future of the region, in partnership with all of you and the United States is not going anywhere,” he said.

During a meeting with Biden, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman told Biden that Saudi Arabia had acted to prevent a repeat of mistakes like the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that the United States had also made mistakes, including in Iraq. “The President raised the issue... And the crown prince responded that this was a painful episode for Saudi Arabia and that it was a terrible mistake,” the kingdom’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubair said.

Biden departed Saudi Arabia on Saturday without a firm commitment for a production hike that could ease pain at the pump, saying only that based on his conversations he expects “further steps in the coming weeks.”