| 15 April 2024, Monday |

US, Gulf Commitment to Preserving Regional Security, Deepening Defense Cooperation

Maintaining regional security and stability and supporting diplomatic efforts seeking to reduce regional tensions, were the two main subjected agrreed uponh, between the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the US.

They also stressed the need for strengthening their regional cooperation on the levels of security, intelligence and defense and boosting their efforts to guarantee the safety of naval passages.

In a joint statement, the state leaders also voiced their support for efforts which guarantee that the Gulf remains free of weapons of mass destruction and prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Moreover, they stressed the importance of confronting terrorism and all destabilizing activities in the region.

“The leaders also welcomed establishing Combined Task Force 153 and Combined Task Force 59 to strengthen defense coordination between GCC countries and the US Central Command [and help] detect naval threats,” the statement said.

At the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the GCC leaders and the US met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The leaders noted the previous US-GCC Summits held on May 14, 2015 in Camp David, and on April 21, 2016 and May 21, 2017 in Riyadh.

“The leaders reaffirmed the strategic importance of the historic ties between their countries, and their shared commitment to build upon the achievements of previous summits to strengthen cooperation, coordination, and consultation in all fields,” the joint statement said.

Moreover, the leaders affirmed their commitment to joint cooperation to bolster global economic recovery efforts, address the economic repercussions caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, ensure the resiliency of supply chains and the security of food and energy supplies, develop clean energy sources and technologies, and assist countries in need by helping address their humanitarian and relief needs.

The US welcomed the decision by the Arab Coordination Group (ACG), which includes ten Arab and national specialized financial developmental institutions, to provide a minimum of $10 billion in response to food security challenges regionally and internationally, in line with the objectives of the US-led Roadmap for Global Food Security — Call to Action.

The leaders also welcomed the US’ announcement of $1 billion in new acute humanitarian and near to long term food security assistance for the Middle East and North Africa region.

The leaders recognized ongoing efforts of OPEC+ towards stabilizing the global oil market in the interests of consumers, producers, and supporting economic growth.

They welcomed the recent announcement by OPEC+ members to increase supply over the course of July and August, and commended Saudi Arabia’s leading role in achieving consensus between the members of OPEC+.

US President Joe Biden welcomed the announcement that some GCC partners plan to invest a total of $3 billion in projects that align with US Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) goals to invest in critical infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries, including through investing in projects that advance climate and energy security and digital connectivity, and that strengthen diversity in global supply chains.

Biden expressed appreciation for the GCC countries’ pledge to provide $100 million for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, which provides life-saving healthcare to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

The leaders affirmed their joint commitment to preserve regional security and stability, support diplomacy with the aim of regional de-escalation, deepen their region-wide defense, security, and intelligence cooperation, and ensure the freedom and security of waterways.

Moreover, the leaders of the GCC member states welcomed Biden’s affirmation of the US’ commitment to its strategic partnership with GCC member states, and that it stands ready to work jointly with its partners in the GCC to deter and confront all external threats to their security, as well as against threats to vital waterways, especially the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab Al-Mandab.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat