After the OPEC Snub, Joe Biden Will “Re-evaluate” Relations With Saudi Arabia.

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Last week, the 13-nation OPEC cartel and its 10 allies, led by Moscow, enraged the White House with its decision to cut output by two million barrels per day from November, sparking worries that oil prices would surge.

Following a Saudi-led coalition of oil-producing nations siding with Russia to reduce supply, the White House announced on Tuesday that President Joe Biden would “re-evaluate” US relations with Riyadh.
Last week, the 13-nation OPEC cartel and its 10 allies, led by Moscow, enraged the White House with its decision to cut output by two million barrels per day from November, sparking worries that oil prices would surge.

According to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, “I think the president has been quite clear that this is a relationship that we need to continue re-evaluating, that we need to be willing to review.”

“I think that’s where he is, for sure, in light of the OPEC decision.”

Since Biden visited Saudi Arabia in July and had a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite having vowed to declare the country a worldwide pariah after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the decision was largely viewed as a diplomatic slap in the face.

It also occurs at a delicate time for Biden’s Democratic party, which must contend with midterm elections in November while Republicans emphasize the importance of rising consumer costs.

Joe Biden (2)

The planned production cuts have been justified by Saudi Arabia, which claimed that OPEC+’s top priority was “to maintain a sustainable oil market.”

According to the Al-Arabiya channel’s interview with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Tuesday, the decision “was entirely economic and was taken unanimously by the (organization’s) member states.”

He claimed that “OPEC+ members performed properly and made the right choice.”

Although he made it clear that no formal negotiations had yet started, Kirby continued by saying that Biden was “prepared to work with Congress to think through what that relationship (with Saudi Arabia) needs to look like going forward.”

He made his comments the day after Bob Menendez, the prominent Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s powerful Democratic chairman, demanded that Washington stop any collaboration with Riyadh.

Menendez claimed that the kingdom had chosen to “underwrite” Russia’s war in Ukraine, a decision he criticized as a favor to Moscow that would harm the world economy.

“They selected Russia”

Menendez stated that “the United States must immediately halt all facets of our engagement with Saudi Arabia, including any arms sales and security cooperation outside of what is absolutely required to defend US soldiers and interests.”

“Until the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reconsiders its stance regarding the war in Ukraine,” the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee declared, “I will not approve any cooperation with Riyadh.”

After World War II, a relationship was established between the US and Saudi Arabia that gave the latter country military protection in exchange for Saudi Arabia’s oil.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the relationship, which had been plagued by crises, was repaired by Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, whose one term saw Riyadh account for a fourth of US weaponry shipments.

Joe Biden (1)

Biden’s State Department announced in August that Saudi Arabia would purchase 300 Patriot MIM-104E missile systems, which can be used to shoot down incoming long-range ballistic and cruise missiles as well as attacking aircraft. This move was made to further the rapprochement between the two countries.

According to a statement released on Tuesday by the Saudi embassy in Washington, the partnership is “strategic” and has “improved the security and stability of the Middle East.”

It quoted Prince Faisal as saying to Al-Arabiya that bilateral military cooperation “serves the interests of both countries.”

Saudi Arabia has recently been threatened with rocket attacks by Huthi rebels in Yemen who have access to Iranian technology and weaponry.

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Last week, Biden stated that he would investigate measures to stop petrol prices from rising.

These might involve greater domestic drilling, additional releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and more extreme measures like export restrictions.

Several Democratic members, including Connecticut’s Senator Chris Murphy, who told CNN that Washington has for too long given Riyadh a pass on impertinent behavior, support Menendez’s proposal for a moratorium on arms sales.

In order to ensure that we would be chosen by the Saudis rather than Russia in a time of catastrophe, he continued, “we have for years turned a blind eye as Saudi Arabia has chopped up journalists and engaged in huge political repression.”

“They didn’t, in fact. They went with Russia.”

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