Biden To ‘Re-Evaluate’ Saudi Ties After OPEC Snub
Written by City Radio on October 12, 2022
US President Joe Biden promised “consequences” for Saudi Arabia after a Riyadh-led coalition of oil-producing nations sided with Russia to slash output.
The 13-nation OPEC cartel and its 10 allies headed by Moscow angered the White House last week with its decision to cut production by two million barrels a day from November,
raising fears that oil prices could soar.
The Democratic leader didn’t reveal what options were being considered, but the White House had made clear earlier that Biden was reassessing ties between the allies.
The OPEC move was widely seen as a diplomatic slap in the face, since Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia in July and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite vowing to make the kingdom an international “pariah” paraya following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
It also comes at a sensitive moment ,for Biden’s Democratic party, as it faces November midterm elections with rising consumer prices a key Republican talking point.
Saudi Arabia has defended the planned production cuts, saying the priority of OPEC+ was “to maintain a sustainable oil market”.
On Tuesday, Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the Al-Arabiya channel that the move “was purely economic and was taken unanimously by the (organization’s) member states.”
The partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia was sealed after World War II, providing the kingdom with military protection in exchange for American access to oil.
Fraught with crises, the relationship was revived by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, whose single term saw Riyadh accounting for a quarter of US arms exports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.