Image Source: Common Space
After private talks between US President Joe Biden and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has pledged to help “stabilize” the global oil market.
The main goal of Mr. Biden’s journey to the Middle East, which is his first since assuming office, was to lower the price of oil and reduce American consumers’ financial burdens at the pump.
With regard to increasing oil production, Saudi Arabia did not express a firm commitment in its declaration on Friday. However, the US president wants to persuade Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations to increase oil output over the next months to assist in lower gasoline prices.
Mr. Biden made history on Friday when he traveled on Air Force One from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Jeddah. He was the first US president to do so. Due to Saudi Arabia’s prior decision to “open” the skies to all civilian aircraft, the flight was made possible.
As a result, some flights would be shortened, and fuel prices will drop for aircraft arriving from Israel. Prime Minister Yair Lapid of Israel applauded the action.
Prince Khalid Al Faisal Al Saud, the governor of Makkah, and Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud welcomed Mr. Biden when he arrived in Jeddah.
Prior to walking down the purple carpet that had been laid out for him and boarding his armored limousine, the president offered Princess Reema a warm fist bump and promptly shook hands with embassy workers on the tarmac. When former president Donald Trump visited the kingdom for the first time soon after entering office, he was greeted warmly. This was a far cry from that. King Salman welcomed Mr. Trump at the Riyadh airport together with a sizable group.
The fact that neither King Salman nor Prince Mohammed was present to welcome the president was predictable, but it may also be a reflection of the current state of affairs between the two nations.
When Mr. Biden arrived at Al Salam Palace, he gave Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a fist bump despite his campaign promises to declare Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state. Before his conversation with Prince Mohammed, the US president also met with King Salman.
As a result of negotiations, the US decided to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Red Sea’s Tiran Island. This would allow Saudi Arabia to take full control of the island, which has been in a state of uncertainty for years because it is sandwiched between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. The island will be developed for tourism, according to the kingdom.
With regard to the island, the Biden administration had been negotiating a solution for months and hoped to advance those talks during the trip. In order to help “poor and middle-income states,” the two nations agreed to collaborate on the development of more robust 5G and 6G cellular technology, according to the White House.
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It is a turbulent time for the area, and Mr. Biden has stated that he wants to regain US influence there.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, food and oil costs have skyrocketed, and prices are being driven higher by global inflation.
Biden meets other US allies
A fragile ceasefire in Yemen is holding as negotiations with Iran to revive a nuclear agreement to restrict Tehran’s uranium enrichment have stalled. However, there are still significant obstacles to overcome before the protracted conflict can be resolved.
At a meeting with regional leaders on Saturday, which will also include the presidents of US allies Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq, Vice President Biden will discuss these concerns and more as he works to rebuild US-Gulf relations.
Iran’s nuclear program, its support of proxies from Lebanon to Yemen, and the threat posed by its ballistic missiles and armed drones are all significant causes for concern in the Gulf and the larger Middle East.
Mr. Biden signed a vow to employ all available tools, including, if necessary, military action, to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon while he was in Israel, pledging to strengthen security cooperation.