Mon. Dec 4th, 2023
President Joe Biden at Saudi SummitImage Credits: REUTERS

President Joe Biden, speaking at the summit of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea city of Jeddah, said that the United States “will not walk away” from the Middle East and leave a vacuum to be filled by Russia, China or Iran.

Furthermore, the US president announced $1bn in US funding to alleviate hunger in the Arab world. The president also stated at the summit on Saturday that the United States is committed to ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.

His remarks, highlighted at the Gulf Cooperation Council on the final leg of the four-day tour, came amid concerns over Iran’s ambitions for nuclear power and to bolster regional ties.

While emphasizing that the United States “will not walk away,” he also stated that “we will seek to build on this moment with active, principled, American leadership.”

Even though American forces remained deployed at bases across the Middle East and continued to target armed groups in the region, the president suggested that he was turning the page after the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Today, I am proud to be able to say that the eras of land of wars in the region, wars that involved a huge number of American forces, is not under way,” President Biden said.

Additionally, he urged his counterparts, many of whom lead repressive governments, to ensure human rights, especially women’s rights, and to allow their citizens to speak openly.

“The future will be won by the countries that unleash the full potential of their populations,” he said, including allowing people to “question and criticize leaders without fear of reprisal.”

Speaking of human rights, the president also brought up the topic of Jamal Khashoggi’s killing at a meeting with Saudi officials, including the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

Oil Production

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince stated that his country would increase its oil production to 13 million barrels per day on Saturday. However, he emphasized that the country is unable to produce enough output to match the rising demand for oil amid the global energy crisis.

Furthermore, he called on Iran to “cooperate with the nations of our regions.” (Aljazeera)

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