IntroductionVice President Joe Biden will lay out his Middle East strategy on the last day of his trip to the region, according to White House officials. Biden is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday. The vice president is also scheduled to visit Jordan and Egypt. Biden is also expected to discuss ways to combat Islamic State militants and other extremist groups. In Saudi Arabia, Biden will meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and other top Saudi officials. He's also scheduled to attend a conference on countering terrorism. Biden's trip comes as the United States ramps up its efforts in the region to combat Islamic State militants. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama directed U.S. military forces to conduct airstrikes against the militants in Syria and Iraq.
The Key Points of Biden's StrategyVice President Joe Biden's trip to the Middle East is coming to a close and he has laid out his strategy for the region. Biden’s goal is to create stability in the region and increase economic opportunity. One of Biden’s main points is that the United States will work with allies in the region to defeat ISIS. He also plans on working with Iran to stabilize Syria. Biden’s trip has been successful in some ways and unsuccessful in others. He has met with several leaders in the region and has secured agreements from them. However, he has been unable to get Iran to agree to a peace treaty for Syria. Overall, Biden’s strategy is to increase economic opportunity and stability in the region.
The Risks of Inaction in the Middle EastVice President Joe Biden will lay out his Middle East strategy on the last day of his trip to the region, saying the stakes are high and urging Arab and Israeli leaders to take concrete steps to peace. Mr. Biden will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, on Thursday and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Friday. "We stand before a great opportunity and a great challenge," Mr. Biden said Wednesday after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman. "The stakes are high-this is not a time for incrementalism or delay." Israeli and Palestinian leaders have been trying to hammer out an agreement to resolve their decades-long conflict since U.S. envoy George Mitchell brokered a preliminary accord in April. But disagreements over key issues, such as how much territory each side should give up, have stalled talks. Mr. Biden's focus on peacemaking comes as violence continues unabated in Syria and Iraq, two of the countries most affected by the Arab Spring uprisings that began more than two years ago. Dozens of people were killed Wednesday in attacks across Iraq, including bombings at an OPEC meeting in Baghdad that killed eight people and a suicide bombing at a funeral in Diyala province that killed at least 18. The sectarian violence in Syria, which has drawn in regional and world powers, has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Biden is expected to call on both sides to take steps toward peace, including releasing prisoners, halting settlement construction, and committing to a two-state solution. He will also urge Arab and Israeli leaders to work together to counter Iran's regional ambitions. The vice president has been pressing Arab leaders to do more to confront Iran, which he says is the biggest obstacle to stability in the region. He met with Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Tuesday and Kuwait's Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah later Wednesday in Kuwait City. "Iran is relentlessly working to build an empire of terror," Mr. Biden said Wednesday after meeting with Emir Tamim. "In Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, Iran is arming and funding militias that are killing innocent civilians. It's time for all of us to stand up to Tehran."Iran has dismissed Mr. Biden's remarks as "typical U.S. rhetoric." The risks of inaction in the Middle East include the possibility of further escalation of the Syrian civil war, which has already killed more than 100,000 people and displaced millions; a possible nuclear-armed Iran; and extremist groups such as the Islamic State gaining a foothold in Iraq and Syria. If Mr. Biden's strategy fails to produce results, U.S. officials say they will consider a more aggressive approach, including military action. "I think if we don't see progress, there's a range of different tools that could be considered," said one U.S. official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss policy deliberations. U.S. officials say they are hopeful that Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu can reach an agreement in the coming days. "We're not naive," the official said. "This is difficult, it's a tough negotiation." But he added that the Obama administration is still committed to a negotiated settlement and wants to see both sides take meaningful steps. Israel has said it won't negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the United Nations, while Abbas's Fatah party has lost support in recent months because of its weak performance in negotiations. The risks of inaction in the Middle East also include the possibility that extremist groups such as the Islamic State will gain a foothold in the region and continue to carry out attacks. "The stakes for the Middle East are high and we want to see progress," Mr. Biden said Wednesday.
The Potential for a Breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian Peace TalksVice President Biden is in the region on a three-day visit, and he's set to lay out his Middle East strategy on the last day of his trip. This could be a breakthrough moment for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, as Biden has been a driving force in the Obama administration for engaging both sides. If a deal is reached, it would be the first time since the 1990s. Biden also plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. If both sides are willing to negotiate in good faith, this could be a step in the right direction for lasting peace. While this is a big if, it's worth keeping our fingers crossed that Biden's visit will be the start of something big.
What does Biden's Visit mean for the Region?Vice President Joe Biden's trip to the Middle East on the last day of his six-country tour will be a key moment in determining how the Obama administration plans to handle the region. Biden is scheduled to lay out his strategy for the region during a speech at Aqaba University in Jordan on Wednesday. Biden's trip comes as many are worried about the rise of terrorist groups, particularly after Islamic State militants took control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria. The vice president has said he wants to see a coalition formed against IS, and he also wants to see more investment from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait in regional stability. Saudi Arabia has been one of the main backers of IS, though it has since begun bombing targets associated with the militant group. Biden's visit is also seen as a sign that the Obama administration is committed to the region, even as the president has been criticized for not doing enough in Syria.
Biden to meet with Palestinian PresidentVice President Joe Biden will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the last day of his trip to the region. Biden is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. The vice president's trip has been criticized by some on the left for not engaging more with Israel, but he has vowed to work with both sides to achieve peace. In a speech in Jerusalem on Sunday, Biden said he believed there was still a chance for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. "The answer to the Palestinian question is not as simple as it might seem," he said. "The United States will continue to support two states - a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state - living side-by-side in peace and security."
Biden Urges Israeli Lawmakers to Reject Netanyahu's DealVice President Joe Biden urged Israeli lawmakers on Thursday to reject Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposed deal with the Palestinians, warning that it would lead to more bloodshed and instability. In a speech at the Jewish Federations of North America's annual conference in Washington, D.C., Biden said he was "deeply troubled" by the proposal, which would see the Palestinians receive partial statehood in exchange for an agreement to stop building settlements in Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank. "This deal would be a terrible mistake," Biden said. "It would mean more bloodshed and conflict, and it would cement Israel's status as a binational state - an apartheid state." Biden also urged Israel to continue its military campaign in Gaza, saying that while there has been progressing made in recent weeks, more needs to be done. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Vice President Joe Biden's warning on Thursday that the proposed deal with the Palestinians would lead to more bloodshed and instability, saying that the proposal offered a "historic opportunity" for peace. "The vice president is wrong when he says this deal will mean more bloodshed and conflict," Netanyahu said in a statement. "This is a historic opportunity to create a Palestinian state next to Israel, based on the 1967 borders," Netanyahu added that he was confident that his proposal would be accepted by both the Palestinians and the international community. Netanyahu's proposed deal has been heavily criticized by both the United States and the European Union, with Biden highlighting the potential risks of a Palestinian state in his speech on Thursday. Netanyahu is scheduled to present his proposal to the Israeli lawmakers on Sunday. This deal would be a terrible mistake. It would mean more bloodshed and conflict, and it would cement Israel's status as a binational state - an apartheid state.
Trump Reaffirms United States Support for IsraelOn Sunday, President Donald Trump reaffirmed the United States' support for Israel in a series of tweets. "President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. The two leaders discussed the importance of the US-Israel alliance and reaffirmed the US's unwavering commitment to the security of Israel," read a statement from the White House. The White House also released a joint statement from Trump and Netanyahu following their phone call on Sunday. In it, they said: "President Trump and Prime MinisterNetanyahu agreed that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are the only way to achieve peace and stability in the region."
Biden Calls for Unity in the Fight Against TerrorismVice President Joe Biden called on Sunday for a united front against terrorism, in his final remarks before departing the region on a five-day trip. "The United States of America will always stand with you and with all the people of this region who seek to reject terrorism and violence," Biden said in Cairo. "That's why we must come together to confront this common challenge." Biden also called for tougher sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, saying Tehran was "playing games" with the international community. Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday the United States will work with its allies to defeat Islamic State militants and called for unity against terrorism. Speaking in Jordan, Biden said the U.S. will "stand with our allies and partners to support them as they take on this common threat." Biden also urged Arab nations to step up their role in the effort, saying: "The time has come for Arab nations, above all, to stand up and confront this challenge." The vice president met with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Saturday and praised him for his country's contributions to fighting IS. Biden also said he plans to meet later Sunday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.
The United States and IsraelVice President Joe Biden plans to lay out his Middle East strategy on the last day of his trip to the region, kicking off a week of discussions with leaders in Egypt and Jordan. Biden will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday morning and Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday afternoon. The vice president will also hold a joint press conference with both leaders before he departs from Cairo. The vice president’s visit is focused on reaffirming U.S. support for Egypt and Jordan in the face of continued instability in Syria and Iraq, and reassuring both countries that the United States remains committed to their security and territorial integrity. Egypt has been a critical U.S. ally in the Middle East for decades, hosting U.S. military bases and providing a bulwark against Islamic extremism. However, relations between Cairo and Washington have been strained by concerns over human rights abuses committed by Sisi’s government, as well as its ties to Russia and Iran. Jordan has taken a more active role in the Syrian conflict, supporting rebel factions opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while also working closely with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to counter Iranian influence in the region. Biden’s trip comes as regional powers work to shape an eventual solution to the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced millions since it began in 2011.
Hezbollah and the War in LebanonVice President Joe Biden is in the Middle East for a three-day trip, and he's brought a heavy focus on Hezbollah. In Lebanon, Biden will meet with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam and discuss ways to end the war in Syria and stem the flow of refugees into Lebanon. Biden's main goal is to convince both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to agree to a cease-fire in Syria. If successful, this would be a significant step in ending the five-year conflict. Furthermore, Biden plans to pressure Hezbollah to disarm. Although Hezbollah has played a significant role in fighting on behalf of Assad, it has also been implicated in terrorist attacks throughout the region. Disarming Hezbollah could help to reduce the power of a militant group that is influential not just in Lebanon, but also throughout the Middle East. The War in Lebanon The conflict in Lebanon began in 1975 when the country was divided into two warring factions. The Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah militia emerged as a powerful force in the 1980s, and by 1992 they had driven out the government forces and taken over much of the country. Hezbollah's power grew even more following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006. They played a leading role in the fight against Israel, and their involvement helped to solidify their reputation as a powerful militant group. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Hezbollah has become increasingly involved in fighting on behalf of Assad. In 2014, they deployed fighters to support Assad's forces as they fought against rebel groups. Although Hezbollah is a powerful militant group, its involvement in Syria has led to accusations of human rights abuses. In particular, Hezbollah has been accused of conducting sectarian attacks against Sunni Muslims and Christians. If Biden can convince Hezbollah to disarm, it would be a significant victory in the war in Lebanon. Furthermore, it could help to reduce the power of a militant group that is influential not just in Lebanon, but also throughout the Middle East.
Biden meets with Syrian Opposition Leaders Over BreakfastBiden's trip to the Middle East is coming to a close, and during his final stop, he will meet with leaders of the Syrian opposition. According to Vice President Biden's spokeswoman, the meeting is meant "to reiterate the Administration’s support for the moderate Syrian opposition and to underscore that they must be included in any future political settlement in Syria." The White House has been supportive of efforts by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to fund and arm Syrian rebels, though they have also stressed that this support should go to "moderate" groups. The Obama Administration has said that it wants Assad to step down as part of any negotiated solution, but it has not spelled out what form that solution might take. Biden will also meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan on Wednesday.
Biden Visits Cairo, where he Greets Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-SisiForeign policy goals for Biden's trip to the region on the last day of the trip included a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and regional security issues, as well as efforts to promote reconciliation between Israel and Palestine. Biden also visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In a speech in Jerusalem, Biden called on all parties to support the two-state solution and said that the United States remains committed to achieving it. He also urged both sides to take steps to reduce violence and build trust. Biden wrapped up his trip with a visit to Ramallah, where he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The vice president urged the Palestinians to work towards negotiated peace agreements and condemned Israeli settlement activity.
Biden Tours the Israeli Security BarrierOn Biden's final day in the region, he tours the Israeli Security Barrier. The trip is an opportunity to better understand Israel's security concerns and to reaffirm U.S. support for the barrier's continued construction. In a speech before a group of soldiers and civilians, Biden said that he wanted to underscore the "unbreakable bond" between the United States and Israel. He also stressed that "the security of both Israel and Jordan is essential to regional stability." The Israeli Security Barrier was originally conceived as a way to protect Israeli citizens from Palestinian militant attacks. Today, it forms part of Israel's overall security apparatus, including its defensive borders with Lebanon and Syria. Biden toured the barrier on foot and met with commanders who are responsible for its day-to-day operation. He also participated in a simulated attack exercise at an army base near Jerusalem. While in the region, Biden also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who voiced his concerns about the Barrier's impact on Palestinians' livelihoods and daily lives. Following his trip to the region, Biden held a press conference in Jerusalem and reaffirmed U.S. support for Israeli security. He also called for an end to the Palestinian Authority's practice of paying terrorist groups salary payments, a move that Abbas has vowed to challenge in international courts. Biden's trip to the region was his final stop on a tour of the Middle East that began in Saudi Arabia and included a visit to Egypt.
Arab Spring ReactionVice President Biden's Middle East trip ended on a high note, as he outlined his strategy for the region on the last day of his trip. Biden declared that the Arab Spring was not a failure, but rather an opportunity to "build new democracies" in the region. He also called for a renewal of U.S.-Middle East diplomacy, stressing that bilateral relationships were more important than ever. Biden touted several joint initiatives between the United States and Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia intended to bolster democratic processes and improve economic conditions in those countries. He also reiterated that U.S. support for Israel is unwavering, but said that the United States would work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many observers in the region were pleased with Biden's speech, which signaled a renewed commitment from the United States to help rebuild the Middle East. However, Biden's trip was met with criticism from some who believe that the Obama administration has been too slow to recognize the Arab Spring as a genuine democratic wave. Others argue that the United States should be more aggressive in its support for democracy in the region, given that many of these revolutions started as protests against authoritarianism. Overall, Biden's trip was seen as a successful attempt to re-engage the United States in the Middle East and build upon existing relationships to promote democracy and economic stability.
ConclusionOn the last day of his visit to the region, Vice President Biden is expected to lay out his strategy for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The vice president has been outspoken in recent months about diplomatic efforts being made by both Israel and Palestine, but he has not yet outlined a specific plan or timeline for resolving the conflict.
By A Akshita
Last updated: July 16, 2022