Jeddah: US President Joe Biden on Saturday (local time) welcomed the United Arab Emirates' economic initiatives including its recent Free Trade Agreements signed with various countries including India.

According to the White House statement, President Biden and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met on Saturday (local time) in Jeddah in a bilateral meeting during the Summit of the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan.

"He welcomed the UAE's economic initiatives throughout the Middle East and beyond, including its recent Free Trade Agreements signed with Israel, India, and Indonesia as well as new investments in Jordan and Egypt," a White House statement read.

The UAE has signed three trade agreements this year -- one each with Indonesia, India and Israel.

President Biden recognized the UAE's efforts to strengthen its policies and enforcement mechanisms in the fight against financial crimes and illicit money flows. Both leaders highlighted the extensive and enduring educational, cultural and health partnerships between the two countries.

President Biden offered his personal condolences to President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and all Emiratis on the loss of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan.

He congratulated the UAE President on his recent election as President and conveyed an invitation for him to visit the United States later this year.

Both the leaders during the Summit of the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan, discussed a range of regional and global opportunities and challenges which require close coordination between the United States and the United Arab Emirates as strategic partners, the statement read.

In the realm of regional diplomacy, Biden expressed appreciation for UAE President's personal leadership in breaking down barriers and forging diplomatic relations with Israel, as well as deepening cooperation with other countries in the region.

Both the leaders discussed the US role in helping to forge new economic, trade, and people-to-people relations among Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco, as well as in deepening the ties among these states and Egypt and Jordan through new frameworks of cooperation, the White House statement read.

"In the defence realm, the two leaders affirmed their commitment to deepening the extensive security cooperation that has made both countries safer and been a major contributor to regional peace and stability," it added.

The US President recommitted to supporting the defence of the UAE against terrorists and other hostile acts such as the attacks targeting civilian sites in the UAE in January 2022.

"On economics, commerce, and trade relations, President Biden noted that the UAE is one of the fastest growing US economic partnerships globally, the largest US trading partner in the Middle East, and a significant investor in the US economy," the statement further read.

Biden also welcomed the UAE's long-time commitment to global energy security as a reliable and responsible supplier and recognized its leading role in advancing climate action, the energy transition and in developing of clean energy technologies.

President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed extended President Biden an invitation to attend the COP28 to be convened in the UAE in November 2023.