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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Biden announces “results” for Saudi Arabia

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday said there would be a “result” for Saudi Arabia after OPEC+ announced a cut in its oil output and some Democratic lawmakers called for cooperation with the Saudis to freeze.

Biden suggested he act soon and his advisers announced that the government was reviewing its ties with the Arab Empire in view of the drop in oil production, which according to White House officials is OPEC+, a part of Russia. Will help other member to consolidate his income. After nearly eight months of war in Ukraine.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and Democratic Representative Ro Khanna on Tuesday introduced a bill that would immediately suspend all US arms sales to Saudi Arabia for a year. This stoppage will halt the sale of spare parts as well as support services and logistics support.

But it remains to be seen how far Biden is willing to go to show his discontent with the Saudis, a key but difficult ally in the Middle East.

In an interview on CNN, Biden said he would consult with Congress on next steps, but backed down on supporting Democratic lawmakers’ proposal to halt gun sales.

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“What they have done to Russia will have consequences,” Biden said. “I’m not going to go into the details of what I will consider and what I have in mind. But it will have consequences.”

John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator for the White House National Security Council, said Tuesday that Biden believes it is “the time to re-examine this relationship and make sure it is serving our national security interests.” Is.”

Biden had promised on the campaign trail to re-examine ties with the United States because of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, but visited the kingdom this year. Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that the White House has no timetable for the review and has not appointed an adviser to act as a contact person.

Blumenthal and Khanna introduced their bill a day after Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said it was unacceptable for OPEC+ to step in to cut oil production and thus bolster Russia’s coffers. Because it continues its war against Ukraine.

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Menendez has vowed to use his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to prevent future arms sales to the Saudis.

At the White House, Kirby said, “we are going to take this relationship seriously, as well as the concerns of members of Congress very seriously.”

Kirby said Menendez did not inform the White House before announcing his intention to halt future arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

OPEC+, which includes Russia and Saudi Arabia, announced last week that it would cut its output by 2 million barrels per day, to help support oil prices that will support Russian President Vladimir Putin during his invasion of Ukraine. will allow the payment to continue. The cuts also threaten a world economy already shaky by the conflict in Ukraine and the risk of further hikes in gasoline prices shortly before the US midterm election.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told Al Arabiya television on Tuesday that his government’s justification for cutting production was “purely economic”.

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Associated Press writer Ellen Nickmeyer contributed to this report.

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