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White House Plans Saudi Arabia Trip But Says It’s Not About Oil

Global Jun 14, 2022 15:14
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© Reuters

(Bloomberg) -- The White House is preparing for President Joe Biden to visit Saudi Arabia -- and even laid out a general agenda for the trip -- but won’t say when it would happen and rejected the idea that it would be largely to talk about oil production. 

“We continue to plan for a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday. But she repeatedly said she had no trip to preview, and pushed back on questions asserting that the goal would be to get the kingdom to boost oil output to help lower gas prices.  

“To view engagement with Saudi Arabia and energy security as asking for oil is simply wrong,” Jean-Pierre said. “Of course, we discuss energy with the Saudi government as we do with oil producers around the world, and we welcome its leadership in achieving a consensus amongst the group members last week,” referring to the OPEC+ bloc.

Gas prices, and surging inflation in general, has become a key Democratic worry heading into the November midterm US elections, and Biden’s team increasingly has emphasized the president’s economic agenda and accomplishments. 

Saudi Arabia could help with those efforts by pumping more oil, but a meeting between Biden and the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, would also effectively signal an end to US efforts to pressure the kingdom over the killing of former Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. 

Biden over the weekend said he has “not yet” made a decision about visiting Saudi Arabia, but that if he went it would be to take part in meetings that go beyond energy topics. Jean-Pierre said the purpose of a Mideast trip would include engaging with regional leaders for help “delivering results for the American people.” 

While Biden didn’t specify the format, Saudi Arabia has been planning a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional group that also comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

White House Plans Saudi Arabia Trip But Says It’s Not About Oil
 

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Niloc Elgnid
Niloc Elgnid Jun 14, 2022 15:20
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Disaster man best thing he can do is go back to sleep
 
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