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Monday, 17 October 2022 15:19

Strained relations of US-Saudi

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The traditional relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which are known to be close and have been existing since the end of World War II, began to drift apart. On October 5, Saudi Arabia, Russia and other OPEC members agreed to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day, equivalent to 2 percent of current global oil production, effective as of  November.

Saudi Arabia's decision along with other oil producing countries, including Russia, known as OPEC+, is seen as hindering Washington's efforts to punish Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. Related to  the domestic politics of the United States, the decision was announced ahead of the November mid-term elections. Meanwhile, Democrats are trying to maintain their control of the House of Representatives and the US Senate.

The OPEC+ decision has angered the United States. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday (11/10), President Joe Biden said that he  would retaliate against Saudi Arabia. The United States accuses Saudi Arabia of following Russia's will against Washington and Western plans to reduce Moscow's revenue.

In the US  Congress, voices calling for the severance of all cooperative relations with Saudi Arabia are also growing. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairperson, Bob Menendez said that he would reject arms sales to Saudi Arabia and all forms of cooperation with Riyadh. Meanwhile, Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin called Saudi Arabia a traitor. Durbin also asked the US Congress to immediately pass the Oil Production and Exports Anticartel Act (NOPEC) which authorizes the US Department of Justice to bring OPEC+ members to US courts on charges of unfair business competition. In addition, several members of the US House of Representatives from the Democratic camp also proposed a bill that would force the withdrawal of all US troops and weapons from Saudi Arabia.

In response to the anger of the United States, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Saudi Arabian television, Al Arabiya that the OPEC+ decision was based on economic considerations and was taken unanimously by its members.

OPEC in its monthly report issued last Wednesday (12/10) said that the world economy had entered a period of increasing uncertainty and challenges. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund -IMF the day before had cut its global growth forecast for 2023 and warned of an increased risk of a global recession.

Hopefully, the estrangement of relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia will not worsen the global economic conditions that have started becoming difficult lately.

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