President Biden re-evaluating US relationship with Saudis after Opec decision: official

Published October 11, 2022
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fist bumps US President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Al Salman Palace, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15. — Reuters/File
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fist bumps US President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Al Salman Palace, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15. — Reuters/File

President Joe Biden is re-evaluating the US relationship with Saudi Arabia after Opec+ announced last week that it would cut oil production, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on 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 said in an interview with CNN. “And certainly in light of the Opec decision, I think that’s where he is.”

Biden is willing to work with Congress on the future of Saudi relations, Kirby added.

Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Monday, called for a freeze on cooperating with Saudi Arabia, including on most arms sales, accusing the kingdom of helping to underwrite the Russian war in Ukraine after Opec+ announced last week that it would cut oil production.

Biden was disappointed in the Opec+ decision, Kirby said, and “he’s willing to work with Congress to think through what that relationship ought to look like going forward.”

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

The issue does not only concern the war in Ukraine but it is a matter of US national security interests, Kirby added.

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