Today in Jeddah, President Biden met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – the Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Iraq and the Kingdom of Egypt-Jordan (together known as GCC+3). Dubbed the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, this was the first such summit among these nine countries. The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a prosperous, peaceful and integrated Middle East region and to working together to tackle global challenges such as fighting emerging diseases, ensuring food and energy security and tackling the climate crisis through partnerships.
At the summit, President Biden reiterated the importance the United States places on its decades-long strategic partnerships in the Middle East, reaffirmed the United States’ continued commitment to the security and territorial defense of U.S. partners, and recognized the region’s increasingly important role as a trade – and technology crossing between hemispheres. He also strongly affirmed the centrality of the Middle East region to the long-term security and prosperity of the United States and the American people.
America’s Commitment to the Middle East
President Biden set out five declaratory principles – partnership, deterrence, diplomacy, integration and values - to guide US engagement in the Middle East in the coming decades:
1. partnerships: America will support and strengthen partnerships with countries committed to the rules-based international order, and we will ensure that these countries can defend themselves against foreign threats.
2. Deterrence: The United States will not allow foreign or regional powers to threaten freedom of navigation through the waterways of the Middle East, including the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al Mandab, nor will it tolerate efforts by one country to controlled by military armament. assault or threats.
3. Diplomacy: Not only will America aim to ward off threats to regional stability, we will work to reduce tensions, de-escalate, and end conflicts through diplomacy wherever possible.
4. Integration: The United States will develop political, economic, and security links among US partners wherever possible, while respecting each country’s sovereignty and independent choices.
5. Values: The United States will always promote human rights and the values enshrined in the UN Charter.
This address by President Biden frames future US engagements in a way that capitalizes on unique American capabilities along with longstanding US partners.
In addition, the leaders at the table agreed that:
Ensure food security for the most vulnerable populations in the Middle East
• President Biden announced that the United States has pledged $1 billion in new acute, short- to long-term food security assistance to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Given that the impact of global food insecurity and the ability to respond to it are unevenly distributed across countries, Gulf Cooperation Council leaders underscored their commitment to supporting vulnerable populations in the MENA region through the recently released Arab Coordination Group (ACG) announced a US$10 billion food security package. Together, the United States and the GCC will use their collective assistance funds to address immediate humanitarian needs and disruptions, including ensuring full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to vulnerable populations across the region.
• Signed by the United States, GCC members, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan Roadmap to Global Food Security – Call to Action, which was presented at the United Nations Ministerial Meeting in May 2022. At the GCC+3, leaders reaffirmed their collective commitment to act with urgency, at scale, and collectively to respond to the urgent food security and nutrition needs of millions of people in vulnerable situations. They committed to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, building the resilience of people in vulnerable situations, providing near-to-moderate food security assistance to strengthen social protection and safety nets, and sustainable, strengthen resilient and inclusive food systems The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021.
Improve strategic investment cooperation
• The GCC partners plan to invest a total of $3 billion in projects that align with the goals of the US Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investments (PGII) to provide high-quality, sustainable infrastructure that empowers people’s lives around the world, strengthening and diversifying our supply chains, creating new opportunities for American workers and businesses, and advancing our national security.
• The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, unveiled by the President and G7 Leaders at the G7 Summit on 26 June 2022, will be implemented through four priority pillars that will shape the second half of the 21st centurySt Century. This contains:
o Addressing the climate crisis and strengthening global energy security by investing in climate-resilient infrastructure, transformative energy technologies and the development of clean energy supply chains across the integrated lifecycle, starting with the responsible mining of metals and critical minerals; on low-emission transportation and hard infrastructure; Investments in new global refining, processing and battery manufacturing sites; Deploy proven and innovative, scalable technologies in places that don’t yet have access to clean energy.
o Developing, expanding and deploying secure information and communications technology (ICT) networks and infrastructure to drive economic growth and enable open digital societies – from working with trusted providers to deliver 5G and 6G digital connectivity to support of access to platforms and services that depend on them on an open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet and mobile networks with robust cyber security.
o Promoting gender equality and equity – from care infrastructure that increases opportunities for women’s economic empowerment to improved water and sanitation infrastructure that addresses gender disparities in unpaid work and time use – to fuel global economic recovery, by ensuring that half the population is not forced to sit on the sidelines.
o Developing and modernizing health systems infrastructure and contributing to global health security by investing in patient-centred health services and the health workforce; Manufacture of vaccines and other essential medical products; and disease surveillance and early warning systems, including secure laboratories. Combating the current pandemic and preventing and preparing for the next is critical to U.S. economic and national security.
Improving patient care for Palestinians
• Following President Biden’s July 15 announcement of a US$100 million US contribution to the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates each have US$25 million committed, so a total of 100 million US dollars. Our combined $200 million relief package will help the East Jerusalem Hospital Network improve its infrastructure and improve patient care for the thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip who rely on the network for life-saving treatments .
Promote Iraq’s energy integration with the GCC and Jordan
• President Biden welcomed Iraq’s conclusion of agreements with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan to provide Iraq with affordable energy, diversify its supply and ensure energy stability to meet the growing needs of its people. The landmark agreement signed today between Iraq and the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) will connect Iraq’s power grid to grids in the GCC, providing Iraqi people with new and diversified power sources over the coming decade.
Address global economic security
• President Biden spoke to Middle East leaders on the importance of addressing current global energy uncertainties and energy price pressures by ensuring steadily increasing supply from producing countries through 2022 and 2023, including through increased investment in refining capacity . President Biden welcomed OPEC+’s recent announcement that it would increase supply over the course of July and August. President Biden anticipates further supply increases in the coming months, including record-breaking domestic production from the United States, depending on market conditions and analysis.
Integrated Air and Martine Defense Cooperation
• President Biden reiterated the United States’ commitment to accelerate ongoing work with its Middle East allies and partners to integrate and enhance security cooperation. In particular, the United States is committed to promoting a more integrated and regionally connected air and missile defense architecture and countering the proliferation of unmanned aerial systems and missiles to non-state actors that threaten regional peace and security.
• President Biden also reiterated the U.S. commitment to maintaining the free flow of trade through strategic international waterways such as the Bab al-Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s energy flows each day, via several joint naval forces in partnership with long-standing U.S. partners , integrated by US Central Command.