WASHINGTON — President Biden is reconsidering the US relationship with Saudi Arabia after the Riyadh-led OPEC+ cartel announced last week it will slash oil production by a total of 2 million barrels per day beginning next month.

The US and the Middle Eastern nation have long been strategic partners, with Saudi Arabia America’s third-leading source of imported oil, according to the State Department. But that relationship could change after last week’s OPEC move, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday.

“I think the president’s been very clear that this is a relationship that we need to continue to re-evaluate, that we need to be willing to revisit,” Kirby told CNN. “And certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that’s where he is.”

Oil prices have jumped since the group of 24 oil-producing nations, including Russia, unveiled the production cut — adding more pressure to global energy markets already strained by the effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

A picture of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S President Joe Biden gesture as they stand for a family photo ahead of the Jeddah Security and Development Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Biden was “willing to work with Congress” to determine the nature of the relationship in the future, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN.

A picture of John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications.
Kirby noted that the production reduction raises concerns not only at the gas pump but in terms of US national security interests.

Biden was “willing to work with Congress” to determine the nature of the relationship in the future, Kirby told CNN, noting that the production reduction raises concerns not only at the gas pump but in terms of US national security interests.

“I think he’s going to be willing to start to have those conversations right away,” Kirby said. “I don’t think this is anything that’s going to have to wait or should wait, quite frankly, for much longer.”

Kirby spoke after three House Democrats introduced a bill last week that would pull all US troops and missile defense systems from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in response to the OPEC+ move.

“Saudi Arabia[’s] … drastic cut in oil production, despite President Biden’s overtures to both countries in recent months, is a hostile act against the United States and a clear signal that they have chosen to side with Russia in its war against Ukraine,” said Reps. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, Sean Casten of Illinois and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania

Removing military support from the Saudis would represent a heavy blow to Riyadh, whose forces “work closely with US military and law enforcement bodies to safeguard both countries’ national security interests,” according to the State Department.

A picture of Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Abdulaziz bin Salman.
The US and the Middle Eastern nation have long been strategic partners, with Saudi Arabia America’s third-leading source of imported oil.
AFP via Getty Images

“Saudi Arabia plays an important role in working toward a peaceful and prosperous future for the region and is a strong partner in security and counterterrorism efforts and in military, diplomatic, and financial cooperation,” according to the department’s website.



Source link

Author

Comments are closed.