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The United States has reportedly stopped asking Saudi Arabia to pump more oil to combat market disruption from Russia’s war with Ukraine as the relationship between the US and the oil rich kingdom is said to have hit a new low.
President Biden’s national securityr Jake Sullivan brought up the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman which angered the crown prince to the point where he told Sullivan never to mention it again and to forget about Saudi Arabia increasing its oil production, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday,
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The report states that the Biden administration has since asked Saudi Arabia to increase production as gas prices soar in the United States amid Russia’s war with Ukraine and the conversations have gone nowhere.
A senior US official told the Wall Street Journal that the White House has now stopped asking for more oil production from Saudi Arabia and now asks only that the country avoid actions that hurt US interests in Ukraine.
The Saudis reportedly cut short a visit with a high-level Biden administration military delegation last summer while also canceling a visit with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last fall and Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month.
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Despite the perceived tension, a Saudi official at the country’s Washington embassy told the Wall Street Journal the relationship between the two nations remains strong, cordial, and respectful.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.
Karl Rove, former George W. Bush adviser, told Fox News on Tuesday that a recent skit mocking Biden on Saudi television is a signal of the rift between the two countries that has also been exacerbated by the Biden administration’s negotiations with Iran on a nuclear deal.
“It’s not because of personal relationships, it’s because of the actions that we have taken that they don’t like,” Rove said. “We’ve cut back the military assistance they think is vital. We’ve engaged in negotiations with Iran, their archenemy, to restart the so-called nuclear deal.”
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Rove continued, “I think the bigger issues are these three, and they feel like the new administration in the last year-and-a-half has not been working with them, but is working against the interests of their country. And they don ‘t understand why — they think of themselves as a strong ally and they know that we want help from them on energy issues, and they can’t understand why we have on all these big issues: Yemen, Iran, nuclear deal and military assistance to Saudi Arabia been less than forthcoming in this administration.”
Following a brief dip, gas prices in the United States are projected to surge once again, with the national average potentially reaching $4.20 a gallon, according to an industry expert.
The White House has continued to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for the rise in prices, which started well before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roughly 50 days ago.
“I know that families are still struggling with higher prices. I grew up in a family where if the price of gas went up, we felt it,” Biden tweeted Wednesday. “Let’s be absolutely clear about why prices are high right now: COVID and Vladimir Putin.”