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Saudi Summit: Biden says the U.S. “will not walk away” from the Middle East

At the Jeddah Security and Development Summit held on Saturday, President Joe Biden ensured that the U.S. “will not walk away” from the Middle East leaving a vacuum for Russia or China or Iran to control. 

He also noted that the latter must not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons as it could be a danger to stability in the region. 

Alongside six leaders from the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC), including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrein and Oman, as well as, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, Biden also pointed out ongoing changes in the prices of oil.

Biden suggested turning a page after the US invasions ofIraq, despite the continuation of U.S. army deployment throughout the Middle East.  

He also said that he is proud “to be able to say that the era of land wars in the region, wars that involved huge number of American forces is not underway.”

On Friday, Biden confronted crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), about the killing of U.S.-based Journalist Jamal Kashoggi, after “fist-bumping” the latter. 

Regardless of the reports that prove his direct involvement, MBS denies involvement in killing Kashoggi, whose remains were never found. 

Additionally, Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned channel, revealed that the U.S. had also mistaken and tortured detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Al Arabiya also stressed the Israeli killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

As he opened the summit, MBS said that Saudi Arabia is willing to increase oil production to no more than 13 million barrels a day as the global energy crisis is increasing the demand for oil.

He also requested Iran to “cooperate with the nations of our region and not internal affairs of other nations,” and to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

Kimberly Halkett, Al Jazeera’s White House correspondent, said that “Biden believes there are other goals of value that will take time to reap the benefits.” 

She also added that “he believes that there will be improved cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbours in the future,” and “there will be increased economic productivity and increased economic cooperation, but these are not things that are going to be visible in the near future.”

Alongside, oil production, Biden announced that 1$ billion in U.S. aid to support the Arab region, as the Gulf countries would also aid in 3$ bn in the next two years. 

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Tags: Saudi Arabia Palestine Israel United States Biden


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