Biden to take 'action' against Saudi Arabia after oil production cut

US president to consult members of Congress when they return from recess

US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in July. Reuters
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US President Joe Biden on Wednesday vowed to "take action" against Saudi Arabia after the Riyadh-led Opec+ alliance moved to cut oil production.

“We’re going to react to Saudi Arabia,” Mr Biden said. "We will take action.”

He did not go into further detail as to what the reactions might be, but said he would consult members of Congress when they come back from recess.

The remarks cast doubt on the future of the US-Saudi security relationship.

White House National Security spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday that Mr Biden believed the US should “review the bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia and take a look to see if that relationship is where it needs to be and that it is serving our national security interests".

Mr Kirby suggested Mr Biden would speak to senior Democrats on Capitol Hill who have been calling for the US to curtail its co-operation with Riyadh, after what Washington perceived as a Saudi Arabia snub in favour of Russia.

The kingdom's decision to slash oil production by 2 million barrels per day was "purely economic" and taken "unanimously", Saudi Arabia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said on Wednesday.

“Opec+ members acted responsibly and took the appropriate decision."

The Opec+ decision comes weeks before the critical US midterm elections on November 8, and could push petrol prices higher, affecting the Democrats' electoral prospects in a campaign in which inflation has emerged as a top issue for voters.

Updated: October 13, 2022, 7:05 AM
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