In July, 2022, President Biden attended the GCC+3 Summit in Jeddah. GCC+ 3 is made up of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – an alliance of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman – along with Egypt, Iraq and Jordan. This was Biden’s first Middle East trip as President and came 11 months after the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
During the summit, he outlined a five-part “new framework for the Middle East” that included supporting economic development, military security and democratic freedoms. He concluded his remarks by saying “The United States is invested in building a positive future in the region in partnership with all of you, and the United States is not going anywhere.” He also announced $1 billion in US funding to alleviate hunger in the region and also revealed that Gulf Arab leaders are pledging more than $3 billion over the next two years in projects that align with global infrastructure and investment. He spoke of the importance of protecting the “freedom of navigation” through waterways in the Middle East, which allows for the free flow of commerce and resources throughout the region. President Biden also highlighted how the US has established a new naval task force to work in partnership with Middle Eastern countries to help secure the Red Sea and pledged that Washington would work towards reducing tensions and de-escalating conflicts. Concurrently, he also vowed to never let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon.