Stressing that he was the first American president since the attacks of September 11, 2001 to arrive in the Middle East without the American army being engaged in a large-scale military intervention, he promised that the United States “will not will not divert” from the Middle East by leaving “a vacuum that could be filled by China, Russia or Iran”, facing an audience of Arab leaders.

The 79-year-old Democrat, whose speech was applauded, concludes his first tour of the Middle East on Friday after a visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

“The United States is investing to build a better future in the region in cooperation with all of you”, he launched in Jeddah (west), during a summit bringing together the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain), as well as Egypt, Jordan and Iraq.

Criticized for his visit to the Gulf monarchy accused of serious human rights violations, he added that “the future will belong to the countries (…) whose citizens can question and criticize their leaders without fear of reprisals”.

“Integration, interconnection. These are the underlying themes of our meeting,” he said.

The Biden administration says it wants to promote a new “vision” for the Middle East, based on dialogue and economic and military cooperation. Against the backdrop of the normalization processes between Israel and the Arab countries.

This did not prevent him from promising, in a transparent allusion to Tehran, where Russian President Vladimir Putin is soon to visit: “We will not tolerate that one country tries to dominate another in the region through reinforcement military, incursion, and/or threats.”

The American president has “solemnly” invited his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, to visit the United States, after icy relations in recent months.

The United States has also pledged $1 billion in support for “short- and long-term” food security in the Middle East and North Africa.

The trip, however, remains marked by the image of a president exchanging the “check” of the fist with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), accused by American intelligence of being the sponsor of the assassination of the Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi . Joe Biden had also classified Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” state.

– “Tragedy” –

The American president assured Friday, in a hastily organized press briefing in the evening, to have mentioned this affair “at the very beginning” of his meeting with the crown prince, in fact at the helm of the rich monarchy, ensuring that he had been “we do not can clearer”.

According to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir interviewed by CNN, the crown prince receiving the American president on Friday, “explained (to Mr. Biden) that this was a tragedy for Saudi Arabia “

He told him that “those responsible had been investigated, faced justice and were now paying for the crime,” Mr Jubeir added, indicating that for the kingdom it was of a closed case.

Several major American newspapers featured a photo of this almost casual greeting on Thursday, while activists accuse the American president of denying himself for a few barrels of oil.

The increase in the gallon of gasoline is a considerable issue a few months before the mid-term elections in the United States.

“I am doing everything possible to increase production for the United States,” Joe Biden said on Friday, claiming to have had fruitful discussions with the Saudis, the concrete results of which will be seen “in a few weeks”.

– Planes and electricity –

Saudi Arabia and the United States have concluded 18 cooperation agreements in a wide variety of fields (space, finance, energy, health), according to a press release from the Gulf monarchy.

In addition, Washington seeks to draw a path towards normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which do not have official relations.

Joe Biden praised Riyadh’s “historic” decision to open its airspace to “all carriers”, including Israelis, and announced progress on a strategic island in the Red Sea, located between Saudi Arabia , Egypt and Israel.

The White House also reported an agreement by Saudi Arabia to connect the electricity networks of the GCC countries to that of Iraq, which depends heavily on energy imported from Iran, a pet peeve of the Americans like Saudis.