United States President Joe Biden and Middle Eastern leaders have reaffirmed security cooperation in the face of threats, including Iranian nuclear and military activities. Saudi Arabia and other regional players have also offered to increase oil production to stabilize energy markets shaken by the conflict in Ukraine.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman presided over the Jeddah summit on Saturday as the leaders listened to US President Joe Biden lay out his vision for his country’s role in the Middle East in the face of military aggression. Iranian and the expansion of Russia and China.
Biden insisted that Washington, under his watch, would not be left behind by the growing role of Russia or China in the region.
“The United States will continue to be an active and engaged partner in the Middle East,” Biden said. “As the world becomes more competitive and the challenges we face become more complex, it’s become clearer to me how closely intertwined America’s interests are with successes in the Middle East.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman also addressed Iran’s threat to the region during his remarks at the summit.
He says that the summit comes at a time of great threats to countries in the region and that Iran must not be allowed to interfere in (the Yemen conflict) and that Iran’s nuclear program must comply with the rules of the International Agency of Atomic Energy.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called for “mutual efforts to end conflicts in the region and stop external intervention in those conflicts.” He also criticized countries that “transfer mercenaries from one country to another and create militias to destabilize countries.” He also denounced the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region, without referring specifically to Iran.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Khadhimi, whose country and government are under pressure from neighboring Iran, thanked neighboring Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt for agreeing to connect their power grids to Iraq’s and help ease growing power shortages. He also called for greater cooperation to address food and energy security that threaten his country and others in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
Egyptian political sociologist Said Sadek tells VOA that Saudi Arabia, while not giving President Biden the warm welcome they gave other regional leaders, did gesture to the US president to increase its production of oil and address US domestic energy concerns.
“The Saudis had to find some rewards (for the US). Now we see that (they) are going to increase their domestic oil production from 10 million barrels (per day) to 13 million barrels in (the next) months….” Sadek said.
Sadek went on to say that despite Biden’s harsh statements against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during the election campaign, he appears to have softened his position towards him and that the US “really has no alternative to MBS”, which it probably has. success. King Salman, when he dies.
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