President Joe Biden said that the United States must “reevaluate” its relationship Saudi Arabia.
Biden’s comments come after OPEC+, who are a group of oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, announced that they will drastically reduce oil production in an attempt to drive up the price.
White House spokesman John Kirby spoke about Biden’s comments during an interview with CNN.
“I think the president’s been very clear that this is a relationship that we need to continue to reevaluate, that we need to be willing to revisit, and certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that’s where he is.”
Kirby went onto say that Biden “is going to be willing to work with Congress as we think about what the right relationship with Saudi Arabia needs to be going forward.”
During a press briefing later in the day, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “Last week, when OPEC made the decision to align their energy policy with Russia’s war … further underscores that reasoning to realign that relationship, to reevaluate that relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
On Monday, Sen. Bob Menendez, who is the New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, took a harder line and called on the U.S. to “immediately freeze all aspects of our cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including any arms sales and security cooperation beyond what is absolutely necessary to defend U.S. personnel and interests.”
Menendez noted Saudi Arabia’s continued support of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
On Tuesday, a short meeting was held to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act next month, and Senate Armed Services Chairman Jack Reed (D-RI) took this chance to tell reporters that he is “very supportive of Menendez” and his efforts to cease co-operation with Saudi Arabia, especially in relation to arms deals.
“I think we should look carefully at everything we’re sending them,” Reed said. “Because their inability to cooperate with the West and their willingness to cooperate with Russia is very disturbing.”
Chris Murphy (D-CO) told CNN that Washington has looked the other way for too long in regard to Saudi Arabia.
“For years we have looked the other way as Saudi Arabia has chopped up journalists, has engaged in massive political repression, for one reason: we wanted to know that when the chips were down, when there was a global crisis, that the Saudis would choose us instead of Russia,” he said. “Well, they didn’t. They chose Russia.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS
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