US President Biden: We will not leave a vacuum in the Middle East for Russia and China to fill

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US President Biden made statements after meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Salam Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Stating that he had important meetings with Saudi Arabia’s leaders, Biden stated that they discussed energy security in the meetings in Jeddah and that Saudi Arabia will enter into a partnership with the US on clean energy.

Biden stated that they had good talks on ensuring energy security.

Stating that they discussed Saudi Arabia’s security and military needs and the threats that the country may face, Biden said, “We agreed with the leaders of Saudi Arabia to extend the ceasefire in Yemen.”

Noting that they had important meetings with the King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and achieved many successes after months of “quiet diplomacy”, Biden said, “In this context, Saudi Arabia will open its airspace to all civilian flights. We appreciate this decision. This is an important situation and a great achievement. This means that Saudi Arabia’s airspace will be opened to Israel.”

Biden also said that he discussed the energy issue with Saudi officials and said that they expect oil producing countries to increase their production quotas in the coming weeks in order to control high energy prices.

Referring to Washington’s relations with the Middle East, US President Biden said, “We have made progress in strengthening our relations with the Gulf countries. We will not leave a vacuum in the Middle East for Russia and China to fill.”

Biden announced that the peacekeeping force stationed on the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir will leave.

They also agreed to connect Iraq to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) electricity grid over Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Biden said, noting that they agreed to partner with Saudi Arabia for G5 technology.

Biden said that he brought up the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the meeting with Prince bin Salman and said, “I expressed my view in the meeting and said very clearly that the President of the United States should not be silent on human rights. I told Prince bin Salman that I think he is responsible for this incident.”

Biden said that bin Salman told him that he was not responsible for the incident and that he was taking the necessary steps against those responsible.

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