Two senior US officials visited Saudi Arabia for talks this week

White House confirms trip focused on reviewing 'engagement with Saudi Arabia on energy security'

A view of the Riyadh skyline. EPA / EFE
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Two senior US officials visited Saudi Arabia this week for talks on topics that included global energy supplies, Iran and other regional issues, the White House said on Thursday.

Brett McGurk, President Joe Biden's top White House adviser on the Middle East, and Amos Hochstein, the State Department's energy envoy, met Saudi officials in Riyadh.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed to reporters that Mr McGurk and Mr Hochstein had travelled to the country, that the trip had focused on reviewing “engagement with Saudi Arabia on energy security” and that the US officials were not asking for an increase in Saudi oil exports.

“Asking for oil is simply wrong. That’s the way that we see it and a misunderstanding of both the complexity of that issue as well as our multifaceted discussions with the Saudis,” she said.

She also said Opec+ would make its own decision as it relates to oil and added: “We are in consultation with all relevant producers about market conditions including Saudi Arabia.”

Mr Biden and his team have been considering making a stop in Saudi Arabia as well as Israel after the president travels to summits in Germany and Spain in late June, sources say.

Updated: May 26, 2022, 10:33 PM