“We think, especially given the growing Iranian ballistic missile threat, there is great promise here.”
A senior US administration official said Thursday that no framework had yet been developed for an integrated air and missile defense system in the Middle East.
The comments of an anonymous official quoted by Reuters came shortly after US President Joe Biden raised the issue during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where he held a summit with Arab leaders.
“It’s an idea right now, there’s no framework for it (…) but it was important for the president to raise the issue of better integrated regional air and missile defence,” the official said. responsible for administration, according to Reuters.
“We believe, particularly given the growing ballistic missile threat from Iran, that there is great promise in having a more networked, more integrated and more cooperative approach to air missile defense,” he said. -he adds.
Biden’s trip to the Middle East began with a visit to Israel and it was hoped to bring the Jewish state closer to warming relations with Saudi Arabia as Biden became the first US leader to take a direct flight from Tel Aviv to Jeddah. . However, his proposal on the regional security alliance did not receive visible support from Arab states.
Although Saudi Arabia announced during Biden’s visit that it would open its airspace to all carriers, including flights to and from Israel, the Gulf country’s foreign ministry said later that he had signaled no further steps towards normalization with Israel, and no talks of a possible defense alliance were held.
No breakthrough was also made on building a regional axis against a common threat from Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. Tehran had previously warned that US-Israeli plans for a joint defense pact with Arab states to counter the threat from Iranian drones and missiles would only increase regional tensions.