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Biden re-evaluates relationship with Saudi Arabia after cutting oil production

Biden re-evaluates relationship with Saudi Arabia after cutting oil production

A White House official said on Tuesday that President Biden is reassessing the relationship with Saudi Arabia after it cooperated with Russia to cut oil production in a move that has strengthened President Vladimir Putin’s government and could raise US gasoline prices ahead of the midterm elections. .

Official John F. In the White House He said on CNN. “And certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that’s where it is.”

Mr. Kirby indicated openness to retaliatory measures proposed by angry Democratic Congressional leaders Oil production cut announced last week by the international cartel known as OPEC Plus. Among other things, top Democrats have proposed limiting US security cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including arms sales, and stripping OPEC members of their legal immunity so they can be prosecuted for violations of US antitrust laws.

“The president is clearly disappointed with the OPEC decision and would be willing to work with Congress as we think about what the right relationship with Saudi Arabia needs to move forward,” Mr. Kirby said. It sounded urgent. “The schedule is now and I think he’ll be ready to start these talks right away,” he said. “I don’t think that’s anything he’s going to have to wait or wait quite frankly for any longer.”

The comments came just a day after Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J. and chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Saudi Arabia actively attacked Russia for supporting Russia In its brutal invasion of Ukraine it called for an immediate freeze “of all aspects of our cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” and vowed to use its power to prevent any future arms sales.

“There is simply no room to play on either side of this conflict — either the rest of the free world supports in trying to prevent a war criminal from wiping an entire country off the map, or it supports it,” Menendez said. “Saudi Arabia chose the latter in a shocking decision driven by economic self-interest.”

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second Democrat in the Senate, said Tuesday morning that Saudi Arabia clearly wants Russia to win the war in Ukraine. “Let’s be very frank about this,” he said on CNN. It is Putin and Saudi Arabia against the United States.

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Represents Mr. Biden’s willingness to consider retaliatory measures Noticeable transformation of the head who have sought to improve relations with Saudi Arabia in recent months and reflected deep anger in the White House over the decision of the Saudi-led OPEC Plus group last week to cut oil production by up to 2 million barrels per day.

The president sucked the barbs for Visit Saudi Arabia in July And give a fist to the crown prince, Mohammed bin SalmanDespite the campaign’s promise to make the Kingdom an international country”forsakenFor the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and US resident. The CIA determined that Prince Mohammed ordered the operation that led to Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment in 2018.

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Having overcome his own reservations, Mr. Biden went on the side of advisers who said it was worth the political blow to restore relations with Saudi Arabia for a variety of reasons, including the need to strengthen energy markets given efforts to isolate Russia, one of the world’s nations. The largest oil producers in the world. While no specific announcements were made during his visit to Jeddah in July, US officials said at the time they had an understanding with Saudi Arabia that it would increase oil production in the fall and thus lower gasoline prices ahead of crucial congressional elections.

The Saudi decision to do the opposite last week in defiance of American entreaties was a slap in the face for Mr. Biden and opened it to further criticism even from fellow Democrats who argued that Saudi Arabia should be punished. Three House Democrats have announced legislation demanding the withdrawal of US forces and defense systems from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

After declining for more than three months, gas prices are back on the rise again. It rose by 12 cents a gallon on average over the past week to $3.92, according to AAA, although it’s still well below the June peak of just over $5. The White House was counting on lowering gas prices to support Democrats’ efforts to seize control of the House and Senate in the November 8 elections.

Anger toward Saudi Arabia has been exacerbated in Washington in the past two days by recent Russian air strikes against civilian targets across Ukraine. Democrats have framed the conflict with Saudi Arabia less in terms of concern about domestic gas prices in the election campaign season and more about the kingdom’s willingness to aid Mr. Putin’s aggression.

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