Gone are the days of America’s buddy-buddy relationship with the Saudis under President Donald Trump. Now, instead of a close working relationship, if not friendship, between the Saudi Arabian leaders and the US president, we have a very acrimonious, humiliating one, with the Saudis doing the opposite of what Biden wants and spitting in his face while doing so.
Biden, as many know, traveled to the Kingdom to beg them to increase the amount of oil they are pumping, an action which would keep prices down in the US. That didn’t go well and the Saudis ended up cutting the amount of oil they pump, something that will keep prices high and hurt Western consumers while helping the Russians fund their war in the Ukraine.
So that was embarrassing for Biden and a clear failure of his administration’s attempts at diplomacy.
And now the humiliation is getting worse for Biden, with a Saudi Prince, Saud al-Shaalan, saying:
“Anybody that challenges the existence of this country and this kingdom. All of us, we are products of jihad, and martyrdom. That’s my message to anybody that thinks that it can threaten us.”
Watch that here:
Because I know they will delete it
Here it is again: pic.twitter.com/L4awAOcRRk
— د. عبدالله العودة (@aalodah) October 15, 2022
The Saudi Prince’s threat came after Biden threatened “consequences” for the Kingdom following the announcement of oil production cuts, saying: “There’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done with Russia.”
The Saudis, for their part, denied that the OPEC+ production cuts had anything to do with Russia or the US political situation and announced that it was instead a purely economic decision, saying:
“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would first like to express its total rejection of these statements that are not based on facts, and which are based on portraying the OPEC+ decision out of its purely economic context.”
And the tense situation shows no signs of abating, at least in the near term. Speaking on the American relationship with Saudi Arabia recently, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced that Biden has “no plans” to meet with the Saudi delegation at the upcoming G 20 summit. He also hinted that a change to the US-Saudi relationship could be coming, saying:
“The president isn’t going to act precipitously. He is going to act methodically, strategically, and he’s going to take his time to consult with members of both parties and also to have an opportunity for Congress to return so that he can sit with them in person and work through the options.”
We will see what happens as the situation develops, both in Eastern Europe and in oil markets. But if prices continue to tick higher and Biden continues to make an issue of and threats regarding the OPEC cuts, the relationship with the Saudis we’ve spent billions, if not trillions, of dollars building over decades could plummet through the thin ice it is currently on.