Unlike what Washington and Tel Aviv expected, The Jeddah Summit ended quite fruitlessly, with almost none of the US-Israeli demands being met.
It was on this Saturday that the Jeddah Security and Development Summit concluded at the King Abdullah International Conference Center. But contrary to what the US President Joe Biden had in mind to achieve through his Middle East tour for his country and Israel, none of his major demands were realized.
First of all, Saudi Arabia openly asserted at the end of the summit that it did not have any additional capacity to increase oil production beyond what the country is already producing, which is 13 million barrels a day.
“The Kingdom has announced an increase in its production capacity level to 13 million barrels per day, after which the Kingdom will not have any additional capacity to increase production” The Kingdom’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman said in the concluding remarks at the summit. Bin Salman also referred to the issue of climate change as another reason that the Kingdom can’t respond to Biden’s demand of increasing oil production; “The environmental challenges that the world is currently facing, especially climate change, and the international community’s determination to maintain the Earth’s temperature in accordance with the levels set by the Paris Agreement, require dealing with them realistically and responsibly,” he said.
No alliance against Iran
Biden was also not successful in forming a regional alliance against Iran as he and Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid wanted. Expressing willingness that his country is ready to reestablish normal relations with Tehran, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said at the sideline of the Jeddah Summit that “Our hands remain outstretched to Iran.” Prince Faisal also noted that his country has no plan to create or be part of an “Arab NATO” against Iran. The Saudi’s top diplomat also referred to the latest round of talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia and said that Diplomatic solutions are the only solution to interact with Iran, so Saudi Arabia believes in multilateral measures and support settling disputes through international organizations.
But that was not all. To kill all the US-Israel hopes for having Saudi Arabia side with them against Iran, Faisal asserted that there was no discussion about forming a defense cooperation between Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC)’s member states and Israel against Iran at the summit, and that Riyadh’s decision to open its airspace to all air carriers had nothing to do with establishing diplomatic ties with Israel.
No success in countering China
Regarding the US presence in the region to counter China’s, President Biden noted in his Saturday speech that Washington would remain an active partner in the Middle East; “The United States is invested in building a positive future of the region, in partnership with all of you—and the United States is not going anywhere,” he said at the Summit.
However, and to indirectly refuse Biden’s comeback to the region as before, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said that the Kingdom wants “to be able to deal with everybody and we want to be able to engage with everybody. This is what we have done,” al-Jubeir also noted in his interview with CNBC News that “China is our largest trading partner. It’s a huge market for energy and a huge market in the future. And China is a big investor in Saudi Arabia — the United States is of course, our number one partner when it comes to security and political coordination, as well as investments and trade between the two countries.”