US re-evaluating ties with KSA following OPEC+ decision: WH
The United States says it has to re-evaluate its relations with Saudi Arabia after Riyadh supported OPEC+'s decision to lower oil production.
US President Joe Biden is re-evaluating Washington's ties to Saudi Arabia after OPEC+, the international petroleum organization led by Riyadh, announced last week that it was cutting oil production, White House National Security advisor John Kirby said on Tuesday.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)'s member states voted on Wednesday on cutting their production of oil and agreed to reduce their oil production by 2 million barrels a day in light of the world's surging energy crisis.
"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 told CNN during an interview. "Certainly, in light of the OPEC decision, I think that's where he is."
Kirby also highlighted that Biden was willing to cooperate with Congress to review the prospect of US-Saudi relations amid the ongoing tensions.
The US is concerned that OPEC's probable decision to reduce oil production will pose serious problems for the country and may even be interpreted as a hostile act, according to a US Treasury report.
"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 stressed.
The issue is not only about the Ukraine war but mainly US national security interests, the White House official explained.
The Biden administration previously assembled its top energy, economic, and foreign policy officials and entrusted them with lobbying Middle East allies such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait to vote against decreasing oil production.
Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal and Democrat Representative Ro Khanna proposed legislation to stop Washington from providing weapons to Riyadh, arguing that what the US regards as the kingdom's support for Russia deserves a "far-reaching review of the US-Saudi 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.
Attempting to curve the prices of oil in the US when all else failed, Washington has been actively using its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for over a year.
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.
"With due respect, the reason you have high prices in the United States is because you have a refining shortage that has been in existence for more than 20 years. You haven't built refineries in decades," he said.