South African President welcomes OPEC+ production cuts
South Africa voices support for OPEC+'s decision to decrease its oil production output as the West grows more concerned about it.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed on Sunday the decision of Saudi Arabia and other counties of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to decrease oil production to stabilize the global energy market, he was quoted as saying by his press office.
"President Ramaphosa has welcomed the decision by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries to focus on price stabilization in their management of oil production," the statement read.
According to the South African leader, hikes in energy prices have been causing higher fuel costs in his country, especially increasing the pressure on small businesses, consumers, and households.
Ramaphosa "appreciated the development as a measure that could provide relief to South Africa's pressured economy," the statement concluded.
Iraq was the latest country to support OPEC's decision to cut its oil output, rejecting the West's policy of pressuring the alliance's countries.
In recent days, the 13-nation OPEC+ and its 10 allies infuriated the White House by resolving to cut production by two million barrels per day beginning in November, fueling fears that oil prices may spike.
The US is concerned that OPEC's decision to reduce oil production would pose serious problems for the country and may even be interpreted as a hostile act, according to a US Treasury report.
Following the decision, US President Joe Biden vowed that "there will be consequences" for US relations with Saudi Arabia.
Prior to the decision, US officials reached out to their counterparts in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers with an appeal to delay the decision, according to people familiar with the conversations. However, the answer was nothing else than a resounding "no".
Biden, according to National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby, believes that the US should examine its relationship with Saudi Arabia in light of the OPEC+ decision "and take a look to see if that relationship is where it needs to be and that it is serving our national security interests." Kirby stated that the US President was willing to meet with members of Congress to discuss the bilateral relationship.
Biden had also tried to convince the organization to increase its oil output in a bid to cool the red-hot energy prices, traveling to Saudi Arabia with hopes of persuading Saudi Arabia to promise to increase its oil output and relieve the pressure on the global supply chain.
However, the price of oil rose even further after he left West Asia without striking a deal with Saudi Arabia on Riyadh pumping out more oil.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir denied all allegations that OPEC+'s decision was directed at the US and stated that its aim was to stabilize the global market amid a slowing economy.