Biden to announce $1 billion in aid to Middle East, North Africa

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Jul 16 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden is expected to announce Saturday an assistance of $1 billion for food security in the Middle East and North Africa, following a crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. a senior US official told the media.

The president will make the announcement in the framework of a meeting in Jeddah with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) +3, that will bring together the heads of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar, the leaders of Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.

According to the official, the Gulf countries will also announce investments worth $3 billion dollars over the next two years for infrastructure projects.

In his meetings this Saturday, Biden plans to call on the leaders of the Gulf countries to increase oil production and will talk with them about coordinating their air defense systems to deal with Iran.

Biden also plans to hold bilateral meetings with different leaders about the possibility of improving regional coordination in dealing with Iran’s rockets, drones, and missiles and the groups it supports, including Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Discussions will focus on coordinating air defense systems created to destroy missiles, such as the US-based THAAD system already in use by the UAE.

On the other hand, Biden has already announced that one of his goals at the summit would be to call for an increase in oil production, with prices shooting up due to Western sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Biden already addressed the oil issue on Friday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Biden revealed to the media that Saudi Arabia, the leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was committed to balancing the markets, but there will be no steps in that direction until the next few weeks.

Saudi Arabia is the final stop on Biden’s Middle East tour, his first since taking over at the White House in January 2021. EFE


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