Saudi-US Relations Strong Despite Differing Views on OPEC+ Oil Production Cut: US Secretary of State

Sat Jun 10 2023
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RIYADH: The United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that the decades-long strategic relationship between the US and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) remains strong and is going through a period of “increasing convergence”.

During his visit to the Kingdom, he told Hiba Nasr of Asharq News that Riyadh and Washington are successfully working together despite “a difference in views” on the decision by OPEC+ countries last October to decrease oil-production targets.

“We’ve had a relationship for decades that was grounded in cooperation, security, energy, and, counterterrorism, and that foundation remains,” he said.

“But what the sides are also seeing — and what this trip reconfirms — is that there are significant opportunities for Washington and Riyadh to work together to further advance some positive matters.”

US-Saudi Arabia  ties

The US Secretary of State also attended a Global Coalition Against Daesh conference in Saudi Arabia. He said that the de-escalation of tension in the region was a priority for Riyadh and Washington but that Saudi Arabia and the US have also been working jointly well on a “positive line based on common interests” in other arenas.

He added that the two countries collaborate in health security, climate security, energy, food security, and clean energy. He said, “Washington is not abandoning the Arab world in the face of increasing Beijing and Moscow influence and will stay in the region.

He said,” We are actually working together to build a better future for people in the United States and across the region:” He added, “So, yes, we are dealing with crises including security challenges, but we are also dealing with an affirmative agenda. What I hear is that the United States is our preferred partner.”

On the matter of the recent China-brokered deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the US top diplomat said all contributions by nations, including China, to the advancement of peace in the region, is a positive measure. “We congratulate what take place,” Antony Blinken said.  “Of course, Riyadh and Tehran have been talking for at least several years to get to this place. We’ll see what occurs now” he maintained.

He said, “If countries like China, can play a constructive role, anywhere it is, in helping to advance peace, to decrease tensions, then, again, I think that’s positive; that’s what we must all be trying to do.”

He lauded the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for its role in joint humanitarian efforts and its attempts to help resolve the violence in Sudan.

“The United States had, by the way in very close partnership with Riyadh, some achievement in getting very limited truces that were highly defective but did permit more humanitarian aid and help to get in (to Sudan) and reach around 2 million people that otherwise would not have had this help provided to them,” Antony Blinken said.

With warring parties in the conflict increasingly disregarding ceasefire commitments, Blinked said that if neither side was serious regarding the ceasefire, the United States has “tools at its disposal” to help bring about a permanent peace.

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