US, GCC nations release joint statement following Jeddah summit

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

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The GCC leaders highlighted the historic partnership with the US and reaffirmed their keenness to build on the achievements of Saturday’s summit and previous summits to strengthen cooperation in all fields.

During the meeting which addressed global challenges and regional affairs, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to guarantee the region’s security and stability and voiced their support of all diplomatic efforts which aim to reduce regional tensions.

They also discussed strengthening their regional cooperation on the levels of security, intelligence and defence and boosting their efforts to guarantee the safety of naval passages.

“The GCC welcomes the US’… reaffirmation that it will always work with the GCC to deter and confront all external threats against the [GCC’s] security and against vital maritime passages particularly the straits of Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb,” the statement said.

“The leaders reaffirmed their keenness to develop cooperation and coordination to develop defence capabilities [and confront] threats posed by drones, missiles and the armament of terrorist militias and armed groups.”

They also voiced their support for efforts which guarantee that the Gulf remains free of mass destruction weapons meaning preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

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

Highlighting their commitment to enhance cooperation, the US president and the GCC leaders reiterated that they will enhance their coordination to support efforts aimed at helping with the recovery of the international economy and at addressing the negative economic repercussions which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

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

The leaders also praised the efforts of OPEC+ to achieve the stability of global oil markets in a manner that serves the interests of both producers and consumers and welcomed OPEC+ recent decision to increase production in July and August.

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

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