Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Gulf States’ Transformational Impact on the World: Blinken | TOME


Gulf States’ Building of a More Stable and Integrated Region Could Have Transformational Results

At a meeting on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his belief that the Gulf states’ efforts to build a “more stable, secure, and integrated region” could bring about genuinely transformational results for the world. Blinken met with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and emphasized the positive impact of US-GCC partnerships on both the Gulf region and the global community.

One significant development that Blinken highlighted was the signing of an agreement at the G20 summit to establish a corridor spanning the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe. This corridor, which encompasses rail, shipping, digital, and energy infrastructure, was signed by major players in the region, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment reflects the US conviction that an integrated Gulf and Middle East can bring about transformative outcomes for the region and the world.

Blinken also commended Saudi Arabia for its role in brokering a UN-led truce in Yemen. Additionally, he acknowledged the Kingdom’s partnership in offloading oil from the FSO Safer tanker in the Red Sea, which prevented an environmental disaster. These actions demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s commitment to regional stability and its willingness to address pressing issues.

The US remains steadfast in its support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Blinken reiterated Washington’s efforts to advance normalization with Israel among Middle Eastern countries. The US has invested in its relationships with GCC states and is committed to long-term cooperation.

Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Al-Busaidi emphasized the GCC’s willingness to engage in dialogue with all parties and highlighted the potential for substantive progress through agreement and convergence. He also expressed the GCC states’ intention to further enhance their relationship with the US.

GCC Secretary-General Jassem Al-Budaiwi noted the improvements in the GCC-US relationship since the last meeting in Riyadh. He identified nuclear proliferation, threats to maritime security and freedom of navigation, and political instability and internal conflicts in various countries as the greatest regional challenges. Al-Budaiwi also highlighted the unresolved Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which poses a threat to peace and security in the region.

The strategic partnership between the GCC and the US is a top priority for the GCC, according to Al-Budaiwi. He mentioned the existence of more than 10 working groups and task forces between the GCC and the US, covering areas such as air and missile defense, maritime security, cybersecurity, military logistics, counterterrorism, trade, and investment. Al-Budaiwi expressed hope for further meetings of these working groups by the end of the year to achieve common objectives in cybersecurity, military capabilities, and defense.

In conclusion, the Gulf states’ efforts to build a more stable, secure, and integrated region have the potential to bring about genuinely transformational results for both the region and the world. The US-GCC partnerships have already yielded positive outcomes, such as the establishment of a corridor spanning multiple regions. The commitment to resolving conflicts, promoting dialogue, and enhancing cooperation between the GCC and the US is crucial for addressing regional challenges and achieving common objectives. By working together, these nations can contribute to global peace, stability, and prosperity.

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