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Biden won’t push Saudi crown prince on oil

Person, Human, Shoe REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Joe Biden departs the Air Force One as he returns from NATO and G7 summits in Europe at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. June 30, 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would see Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince during a visit to the country next month but that the purpose of his trip was not to press them to increase oil output.

Asked at a press conference in Spain if he would ask the Saudi leaders to increase oil production, Biden said “No.” He said he had indicated that all the Gulf states should be increasing oil production generically, not Saudi Arabia particularly.

He said he hoped the countries would conclude that it was in their own interest to do so.

On June 17, Biden said he was not going to have a bilateral meeting with Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman during his trip to the region next month and that he was only seeing the Saudi crown prince as part of a broader “international meeting.”

“I’m not going to meet with MBS. I’m going to an international meeting, and he’s going to be part of it,” Biden told reporters.

Biden’s plan for talks with the crown prince – part of his first trip to the region as president – were seen by rights advocates as at odds with his promise to put human rights at the heart of US foreign policy.