Saudi Arabia ‘maturer guys’ in spat with U.S., energy minister says

Date:

  • OPEC+ oil output sparked feud in US and Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia and US “solid allies” – minister
  • Rise of Big Wall St at flagship Saudi investment summit

RIYADH, Oct. 25 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has decided to be the “mature guys” in a row with the United States over oil supplies, the kingdom’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said Tuesday.

The decision this month by the oil producer group OPEC+ led by Saudi Arabia to lower its oil production targets sparked a war of words between the White House and Riyadh ahead of the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) forum, which brought together top executives. of American business.

Relations between the two traditional allies had already been strained by the Joe Biden administration’s stance on the 2018 assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen, as well as Riyadh’s growing ties to China and Russia.

When asked at the FII forum how to get energy relations with the United States back on track after the austerity cuts and with the December 5 deadline for the expected price cap for Russian oil, the Saudi energy minister said: “I think we were while Saudi Arabia decided to be the mature guys and drop the dice”.

“We keep hearing that you’re ‘for us or against us’, is there room for ‘we are with the people of Saudi Arabia’?”

Saudi Investments Minister Khalid al-Falih previously said Riyadh and Washington will get over their “unjustified” feud, highlighting long-standing business and institutional ties.

“If you look at the relationship with the people side, the business side, the education system, if you look at our institutions working together, we are very close and we will overcome this recent feud that I think was unjustified,” he said. .

While noting that Saudi Arabia and the United States were “solid allies” in the long run, he emphasized that the kingdom was “very strong” with Asian partners, including China, which is the largest importer of Saudi hydrocarbons.

The OPEC+ cut has raised concerns in Washington about the possibility of higher gasoline prices ahead of the US midterm elections in November, as Democrats try to maintain control of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Biden promised that “there will be consequences” for US relations with Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ move.

Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, the kingdom’s ambassador to Washington, said in a CNN interview that Saudi Arabia is not siding with Russia and is dealing with “everyone across the board”.

“And by the way, it’s okay to disagree. We’ve disagreed in the past and we’ve agreed in the past, but the most important thing is to recognize the value of this relationship,” she said.

She added that “a lot of people are talking about reforming or overhauling the relationship” and said that was “a positive thing” as Saudi Arabia “isn’t the kingdom it was five years ago”.

FULL PRESENCE AT FII

As in previous years, the three-day FII forum opened Tuesday saw a large turnout from Wall Street, as well as from other industries with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.

JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon expressed confidence at the meeting that Saudi Arabia and the United States will protect their 75-year alliance.

“I can’t imagine allies agreeing on everything and not having problems — they’ll sort it out,” Dimon said. “I am confident that people on both sides will work through and that these countries will continue to be allies in the future and hopefully help the world develop and grow well.”

The FII is a showcase for the Saudi Crown Prince’s Vision 2030 development plan to wean the economy from oil by creating new industries that also generate jobs for millions of Saudis, and to attract foreign capital and talent.

No officials from the Biden administration were seen at the forum on Tuesday. Jared Kushner, a former senior aide to then-President Donald Trump who had close ties to Prince Mohammed, was featured as the front-row speaker.

The Saudi government has invested $2 billion in a company founded by Kushner after Trump left office.

FII organizers said this year’s edition attracted 7,000 delegates, compared to 4,000 last year.

After its inaugural launch in 2017, the forum was marred by a Western boycott over Khashoggi’s murder by Saudi agents. It recovered the following year, attracting leaders and companies with strategic interests in Saudi Arabia, after which the pandemic hit the world.

Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi, Hadeel Al Sayegh and Rachna Uppal in Riyadh and Nadine Awadalla, Maha El Dahan and Yousef Saba in Dubai; Written by Ghaida Ghantous and Michael Geory; Edited by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter, Vinay Dwivedi, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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