Biden kicks off Middle East visit on Wednesday

US President Joe Biden begins a visit to the Middle East on Wednesday that will take him to Israel, the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia.

The tour, which continues through July 16, is designed, analysts in Washington say, to encourage diplomacy and cooperation and strengthen global supply chains in the face of soaring energy prices linked to the war between Ukraine and Russia.

According to a statement from the White House, Biden’s trip will be an opportunity “to reinforce the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and prosperity and to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council summit more Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan (known as GCC+3),” adding that he will also meet with counterparts from across the region to “advance U.S. security, economic, and of diplomacy”.

In Israel, Biden will meet with Israeli leaders to discuss “security, prosperity and its growing integration into the greater region.” He will also travel to the West Bank to “consult with the Palestinian Authority and reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures of security, freedom and opportunity for the Palestinian people”, the spokeswoman added. of the White House.

Biden will then fly to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which currently holds the GCC presidency and hosts the meeting of nine leaders from the region, at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. “The President appreciates King Salman’s leadership and his invitation. He is looking forward to this important visit to Saudi Arabia, which has been a strategic partner of the United States for almost eight decades”, noted the same source, specifying that he will discuss during this stage “a series of bilateral, regional and world”. “These include support for the UN-brokered truce in Yemen, which has led to the most peaceful period since the war began seven years ago. He will also discuss ways to expand regional economic and security cooperation, including promising new infrastructure and climate initiatives, as well as deterring threats from Iran, advancing human rights and to ensure global energy and food security,” the White House statement said. And to conclude that the American president “looks forward to presenting his positive vision of the United States’ commitment to the region in the months and years to come”.

In a column he has just signed on the columns of the Washington Post, Biden indicated that he intends during his trip to “inaugurate a new, more promising chapter of American engagement” in the Middle East. Returning to the importance of the region in the current context of war in Ukraine and its impact on energy security, he noted that “its waterways are essential to global trade and the supply chains on which we count”.

On the Abraham Accords, he said his trip “will also be a small symbol of the budding relations and steps toward normalization between Israel and the Arab world, which my administration is working to deepen and expand.”

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