Biden to wrap up Middle East tour with GCC summit

US president will meet several leaders including President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Joe Biden at Al Salam Palace in Jeddah where they led bilateral talks on July 15, 2022. Saudi Royal Court / EPA
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US President Joe Biden is concluding his whirlwind tour of the Middle East on Saturday by meeting several regional leaders including UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

The meetings come on the sidelines of a summit of the countries that make up the Gulf Co-operation Council in addition to Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, known as the GCC+3.

Mr Biden will look to “reassert” America's role in the region, a senior administration official told reporters travelling with the president.

“We will be covering a host of bilateral and regional issues, really tapping many months of diplomacy and positioning the United States and our partners for the future,” the official said.

The US president is hoping to counter the influence of China and Russia in the region.

He “is committed to ensuring that the United States will not leave a vacuum in the Middle East to be filled by China, Russia or others”, the official said.

In addition to meeting Sheikh Mohamed, Mr Biden will also meet Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Updated: July 16, 2022, 5:28 AM
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