US, GCC countries issue joint statement after Jeddah summit

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The United States and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a joint statement on Saturday following the GCC leaders’ meeting with US President Joe Biden in Jeddah.

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The GCC leaders underscored the historic partnership with the United States and reaffirmed their willingness to build on the achievements of Saturday’s summit and previous summits to strengthen cooperation in all areas.

During the meeting which touched on global challenges and regional affairs, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring security and stability in the region and expressed their support for all diplomatic efforts aimed at reducing regional tensions.

They also discussed strengthening their regional cooperation in security, intelligence and defense and stepping up their efforts to ensure the security of naval crossings.

“The GCC welcomes the United States’ reaffirmation that it will always work with the GCC to deter and confront all external threats to the [GCC’s] security and against vital sea passages, especially the Straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb,” the statement said.

“The leaders reaffirmed their desire to develop cooperation and coordination to develop defense capabilities [and confront] threats posed by drones, missiles and the weaponry of terrorist militias and armed groups.

They also expressed support for efforts that ensure the Gulf remains free of weapons of mass destruction, which means preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

“Leaders also welcomed the creation of Combined Task Force 153 and Combined Task Force 59 which strengthen defense coordination between GCC nations and U.S. Central Command. [and help] detect naval threats,” the statement read.

Underscoring their commitment to enhanced cooperation, the U.S. President and GCC leaders reiterated that they will strengthen their coordination to support efforts to help the recovery of the international economy and address the negative economic repercussions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine.

“The United States welcomed the Arab Coordination Group’s decision to provide at least $10 billion to help address food security challenges regionally and internationally,” the statement said, adding that GCC leaders also welcomed the United States’ decision to provide almost all of the $1 billion. and long-term food security assistance for the Middle East and North Africa region.

Leaders also welcomed OPEC+’s efforts to achieve stability in global oil markets in a way that serves the interests of producers and consumers and welcomed OPEC+’s recent decision to increase production in July. and August.

Biden also welcomed the decision of some GCC countries to contribute a total of $3 billion to invest in infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income countries.

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