BACKGROUNDER: The United States Strengthens Cooperation with Middle Eastern Partners to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century

Today, President Biden met in Jeddah 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 Jordan (together known as GCC+3). Dubbed the Jeddah Summit on Security and Development, it was the first summit of its kind between these nine countries. Throughout, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a prosperous, peaceful and integrated Middle East region, and to working together to address global challenges, such as fighting new diseases, ensuring food and energy security. and solving 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 region, affirmed the United States’ enduring commitment to security and the territorial defense of American partners and recognized the increasingly important role of the region. commercial and technological crossroads between the hemispheres. He also forcefully 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 Engagement in the Middle East Region

President Biden has set out five declaratory principles – partnership, deterrence, diplomacy, integration, and values ​​– to guide American engagement in the Middle East over the coming decades:

1. Partnerships: The United States will support and strengthen partnerships with countries that subscribe 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 permit foreign or regional powers to compromise the freedom of navigation in the Middle Eastern waterways, including the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab al Mandab, or tolerate any country’s efforts to dominate another – or the region – through military reinforcements, incursions or threats.

3. Diplomacy: The United States will not only aim to deter threats to regional stability, we will work to reduce tensions, de-escalate and end conflicts wherever possible through diplomacy.

4. The integration: The United States will establish political, economic, and security ties between its American partners to the extent possible, while respecting the sovereignty and independent choices of each country.

5. Values: The United States will always uphold human rights and the values ​​enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

This address by President Biden frames American engagement going forward in a way that leverages unique American capabilities, in concert with longtime American partners.

Additionally, the leaders around the table agreed to:

Ensuring food security for the most vulnerable populations in the Middle East

• President Biden announced that the United States has committed $1 billion in new short- and long-term acute assistance for food security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Recognizing that the impacts of global food insecurity and the ability to respond to them are unevenly distributed across countries, Gulf Cooperation Council leaders underscored their commitment to supporting vulnerable populations in the MENA region through the $10 grant recently announced by the Arab Coordination Group (ACG). billions of dollars in food security. Together, the United States and the GCC countries will leverage our collective assistance funds to respond to immediate humanitarian needs and disruptions, including ensuring full, safe, and unimpeded humanitarian access to populations in need throughout the region.

• The United States, GCC members, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan have signed the Global Food Security Roadmap – Call to Action, which was unveiled in May 2022 at the United Nations Ministerial Meeting. At the GCC+3 Summit, leaders affirmed their collective commitment to act urgently, at scale and in concert to meet the urgent food security and nutrition needs of millions of vulnerable people across the world. world. They committed to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, building the resilience of people in vulnerable situations, near-to-medium food security assistance to strengthen social protection and safety nets, and strengthening sustainable food systems, resilient and inclusive in line with United Nations goals. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, and the goals of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

Improve strategic investment cooperation

• GCC partners plan to invest a total of $3 billion in projects that align with U.S. Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) goals to deliver quality and sustainable infrastructure that makes a difference in the lives of people around the world, strengthens and diversifies our supply chains, creates new opportunities for American workers and businesses, and advances our national security.

• The Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership, which the President and G7 leaders unveiled at the June 26, 2022 G7 Summit, will be executed on four priority pillars that will define the second half of the 21st century. This includes:

o Tackle the climate crisis and strengthen global energy security through investments in climate-resilient infrastructure, transformational energy technologies and the development of clean energy supply chains across the integrated life cycle, from the responsible extraction of critical metals and minerals; low-emission transport and physical infrastructure; invest in new global battery refining, processing and manufacturing sites; to deploy proven, innovative and scalable technologies in places that do not yet have access to clean energy.

o Develop, expand and deploy secure information and communication technology (ICT) networks and infrastructure to fuel economic growth and facilitate open digital societies – from working with trusted providers to deliver digital connectivity 5G and 6G, supporting access to platforms and services that depend on open, interoperable, secure and reliable Internet and mobile networks with strong cybersecurity.

o Advance gender equality and equity – from care infrastructure that increases opportunities for women’s economic participation, to improved water and sanitation infrastructure that closes gender gaps in the unpaid work and the use of time – to spur global economic recovery by ensuring that half the population is not forced to sit on the sidelines.

o Develop and modernize health systems infrastructure and contribute to global health security through investments in patient- and health-worker centered health services; manufacture of vaccines and other essential medical products; and disease surveillance and early warning systems, including safe and secure laboratories. Tackling the current pandemic, preventing and preparing for the next one is crucial to America’s economic and national security.

Improving patient care for Palestinians

• Following President Biden’s announcement on July 15 of a US contribution of $100 million for the hospital network in East Jerusalem, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledged 25 million each for a corresponding total of $100 million. Our combined $200 million assistance package will help the East Jerusalem hospital network upgrade its infrastructure and improve patient care for thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza who depend on the network for life-saving treatments.

Further Iraq’s energy integration with the GCC and Jordan

• President Biden welcomed Iraq’s conclusion of agreements with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan to bring affordable energy to Iraq, diversify its supply and ensure energy resilience to meet the growing needs of his population. The historic agreement signed today between Iraq and the GCC Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) will connect the Iraqi power grid to the GCC networks, providing the people of Iraq with new and diversified sources of electricity during the next decade.

Addressing Global Economic Security

• President Biden spoke with Middle Eastern leaders about the importance of addressing current global energy insecurities and managing energy price pressures by ensuring steadily increasing supplies from producing countries until in 2022 and 2023, in particular by increasing investment in refining capacity. President Biden welcomed OPEC+’s recent announcement to increase supply during the months of July and August. President Biden expects additional supply increases over the coming months, depending on market conditions and analysis, including record U.S. domestic production.

Integrated Air Defense Cooperation and Martine

• President Biden affirmed the United States’ commitment to accelerating ongoing work with allies and partners in the Middle East to integrate and strengthen security cooperation. In particular, the United States is committed to advancing a more integrated, regionally networked air and missile defense architecture and to countering the proliferation of unmanned aerial systems and missiles to non-state actors that threaten peace. and regional security.

President Biden also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to preserving the free flow of commerce through strategic international waterways like the Bab al-Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40% of the world’s energy passes. every day, via several joint naval forces, in partnership with long-standing American partners integrated by the US Central Command.

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