The defense and missiles of the states of the region took center stage in the meetings that the American president, Joe Biden had with the leaders in the Arabs as he continues his tour in the Middle East.
Biden promised that the US will stand by its allies.
“It is becoming more and more clear to me how intertwined American interests are with the successes of the Middle East. We will not leave and we will not leave behind a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia or Iran. We will seek to use this moment as a basis for further progress with active and principled American leadership.”
The White House chief has focused on the summit with the six Gulf states and Egypt, Jordan and Iraq while trying to play down the hype surrounding his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which has been met with criticism.
Biden is seeking to increase cooperation with oil-rich Saudi Arabia, despite human rights concerns. He is also encouraging an end to the war in Yemen as he seeks to reduce Chinese and Iranian influence. The US president also wants to rally these countries to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The Gulf states have in many cases not sided with the West on the war in Ukraine and are said to be seeking specific US commitments to ease concerns that Washington has scaled back engagement in the Middle East. We’re not going anywhere, Biden assured them, reminding them that the United States has invested heavily in building a positive future in the region in partnership with all of them.