Regional leaders gather in Saudi Arabia for summit with US President Joe Biden

Meeting in Jeddah will address energy, inflation, food security and environmental challenges

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Regional leaders have begun arriving in Saudi Arabia for the Jeddah Security and Development Summit that brings together the six GGC states, Egypt, Jordan Iraq and the United States.

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad arrived on Friday night and King Hamad is expected to arrive on Saturday.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi also arrived in Jeddah on Friday and held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mr Al Kadhimi's office said late on Friday that Baghdad and Riyadh signed an agreement to "provide electrical energy at a reduced cost through an agreement with the Gulf Interconnection Authority".

"This agreement will create more reasons for the stability of the supply of electric power and the supply of the national grid, especially in the seasons that witness high demand," the prime minister's office said.

The Saudi crown prince received UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed at Jeddah airport on Saturday morning.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi also arrived in the kingdom on Saturday morning, followed later by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim and the Crown Prince of Kuwait, Sheikh Meshal.

Oman is being represented by Deputy Prime Minister Asaad bin Tariq, who also arrived on Saturday.

Sheikh Mohamed, Mr El Sisi and Mr Al Kadhimi were all scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Mr Biden before the summit.

The summit will address energy, inflation, food security and environmental challenges, as leaders discuss new ways of partnership and joint co-ordination to overcome these and other issues.

Mr Biden said the gathering of leaders from across the region pointed to "the possibility of a more stable and integrated Middle East, with the United States playing a vital leadership role”.

Mr Biden is hoping to convince Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to boost oil production over the coming months to help bring down the cost of petrol.

Updated: July 16, 2022, 1:29 PM
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