Biden does not plan to directly ask Saudi Arabia to produce more oil
by Andrea Shalal
MADRID (Reuters) – Joe Biden said on Thursday he would not directly pressure Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to drive down crude prices during his upcoming trip in the kingdom.
Americans will have to endure high gas prices ‘as long as it takes’ to not give in to Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US president added at a press conference after the NATO summit in Madrid.
Joe Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia in mid-July, where he will meet with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman. This is one of three legs of a Middle East tour in which energy issues are expected to take center stage due to soaring gas prices and inflation, fueled by the war in Ukraine.
Asked if he would ask Saudi leaders to increase the kingdom’s oil production, Joe Biden replied: “No”.
The American president added that he intended rather to defend the idea of an increase in oil from all the Gulf countries.
“I told them that I thought (the Gulf states) should increase their oil production in general, not (just the) Saudis,” he said.
During an informal discussion captured by television cameras on Monday on the sidelines of a G7 summit in Germany, French President Emmanuel Macron told Joe Biden that he had been briefed by the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, that his country and Saudi Arabia could barely increase their oil production.
(Report Andrea Shalal; written by Jeff Mason and Jarrett Renshaw; French version Alizée Degorce)
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