TE24 International Desk:
US President Joe Biden met with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to try to persuade Washington’s Gulf allies to pump more oil and integrate Israel into the region as part of a new axis largely driven by shared concerns over Iran.
Biden, on the second leg of his first Middle East trip as president, focused on planned summits with six Gulf states and Egypt, Jordan and Iraq and cut short a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a move that drew criticism. United States for human rights violations.
Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” on the global stage following the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, but ultimately U.S. interests dictated a rebuilding, not a rupture, in relations with the world’s top oil exporter. and Arab powerhouses.
Saudi aid is needed at a time of high crude prices and other problems related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and as he boosts efforts to end the war in Yemen, where there is a temporary ceasefire. Washington wants to curb Iran’s influence in the region and China’s global influence.
The US presidents held bilateral talks with the leaders of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq before attending a larger summit to develop a vision and strategy for US involvement in the Middle East and US national security. Getting started. ” Friday advisor Jake Sullivan said.
“He wants to make sure there are no gaps in the Middle East for China and Russia to get together,” Sullivan said.
Biden has discussed fuel supplies with Gulf oil producers, but Washington has said it does not expect OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia to raise oil production soon and is awaiting the outcome of the Aug. 3 OPEC+ meeting. The conflict, for its part, calls for a concrete US commitment to a tense strategic relationship due to the notion of US withdrawal from the region.
Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are unhappy with US terms for arms sales, addressing regional concerns over the missile program and Tehran’s actions, so they consider the 2015 nuclear deal flawed. It was locked out of indirect US-Iran talks to revive it.
The Riyadh-based Gulf Organization said, “The most important need for the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the leaders of other Gulf countries, and the Arabs in general, is clarity on US policy and direction in the region.” President of the research center Abdul Aziz Sagar said.
Israel shares concerns about Iran and the warming between Saudi Arabia and Israel as part of a broader Arab rapprochement after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain forged a relationship from a US-brokered deal. Israel, which had encouraged travel to the Kingdom of Bahrain in hopes of publicity, had Riyadh’s blessing.
In a sign of progress in what Biden called a landmark process, Saudi Arabia said Friday it would pave the way for more overflights with Israel and open airspace to all airlines.
Washington and Riyadh announced the withdrawal of US and other peacekeepers from the island of Tiran, located between Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which is strategically located in Israel’s port of Eilat. As part of the 1978 agreement, the army was deployed and a peace treaty was signed between Israel and Egypt.
Sullivan said the US-Arab summit would discuss “closer coordination and cooperation on Iran” and regional integration, including in Iraq, where Tehran wields significant influence. The support of wealthy Gulf countries for global infrastructure and investment is also being discussed.
The United States and Israel are also trying to lay the groundwork for a security alliance with Arab countries that links air defense systems to counter Iranian drone and missile attacks in the Middle East, the sources said.
Arabs are reluctant to be part of an anti-Iran coalition that has nothing to do with Israel and is building a powerful network of agents throughout the region, including Iraq and Lebanon. This will be a tough sell for countries. And Yemen.
Emirati official Anwar Gargash said on Friday that the so-called Middle East-NATO concept is difficult and that bilateral cooperation is faster and more effective. He said the UAE will not support any confrontational approach.
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