News ID: 107675
Publish Date : 11 October 2022 - 22:06

WASHINGTON (Dispatches) – The White House has announced that U.S. President Joe Biden is re-evaluating the American relationship with Saudi Arabia after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) in which Riyadh is a top producer announced last week it would cut oil production.
“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,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday. “And certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that’s where he is.”
The spokesman added that Biden is willing to work with Congress on the future of Saudi relations.

Senator Wants ‘Freeze’ on
Saudi Cooperation

Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez called on Monday for a “freeze” on cooperation with Saudi Arabia after Riyadh announced an oil production cut last week despite pressure from the U.S.
The Saudi-led OPEC+ grouping agreed to cut output by an amount equal to about 2 percent of global supply, curbing production in a tight market and raising the possibility of higher gasoline prices as Washington seeks to limit Russia’s energy revenue after its war on Ukraine.
“The United States must immediately freeze all aspects of our cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including any arms sales and security cooperation beyond what is absolutely necessary to defend U.S. personnel and interests,” Menendez said in a statement.
The U.S. has accused the kingdom, the world’s second-largest oil producer, of helping underwrite Russia’s war in Ukraine as the supply cut will raise oil prices amid a global energy crisis.
“I will not green-light any cooperation with Riyadh until the kingdom reassesses its position with respect to the war in Ukraine. Enough is enough,” Menendez said.
“There simply is no room to play both sides of this conflict...,” he added, saying Riyadh had to choose whether it distances itself from Moscow over the conflict or supports the military operation.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia chose the latter in a terrible decision driven by economic self-interest,” the senator said.
U.S. President Joe Biden has also called the decision “shortsighted.”
Last week the White House said it was “disappointed” in the decision and called it “shortsighted”.
The Saudi embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Sunday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cried foul over the decision by OPEC+ to lower oil production, saying it will hurt the global economy.
“I think OPEC’s decision is unhelpful and unwise — it’s uncertain what impact it will end up having, but certainly, it’s something that, to me, did not seem appropriate, under the circumstances we face,” Yellen said in a phone interview with the Financial Times, adding, “We’re very worried about developing countries and the problems they face.”
Independent U.S. Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has called for the withdrawal of American troops from Saudi Arabia and an end to military aid to the conservative kingdom for lowering oil production.
In August, the United States approved massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth more than $5 billion, amid criticism of their ongoing military aggression in Yemen which has inflicted heavy civilian casualties.

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