Saudi Diplomat Jubeir Says US Ties Solid, Will Meet Kerry at COP
The relationship between Riyadh and Washington is strong enough to survive the recent disagreement over the Kingdom’s oil policy, Adel Al-Jubeir, minister of state for foreign affairs, said.
(Bloomberg) — The relationship between Riyadh and Washington is strong enough to survive the recent disagreement over the Kingdom’s oil policy, Adel Al-Jubeir, minister of state for foreign affairs, said.
“It’s a very strong relationship, we have seen the coming and passing of many storms, we have had our ups and downs and we always move towards a stronger, deeper and broader relationship.” Al-Jubeir said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Saudi Green Initiative during the COP27 climate summit in Egypt. “It’s natural that we have disagreements from time to time between countries, as you do between friends.”
Riyadh was slammed by the White House after Saudi Arabia rallied OPEC+ crude exporters behind a 2 million barrel a day oil output cut by OPEC+. The State Department said the decision last month came at the “worst possible moment” given worldwide inflationary pressures and president Joe Biden said he will reassess the US’s military support for the kingdom.
Despite the US reaction, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said on Friday that OPEC+ will remain cautious on oil production as the global economy is full of “uncertainties.” The alliance is set to meet on Dec. 4 to review output policy.
Al-Jubeir defended Saudi oil policy and said the kingdom will continue to work in their “best interest,” but the dispute will not impact the relationship.
“Some in the United States take a different approach but we will be able to overcome this.”
Al-Jubeir said he’s meeting the US climate envoy John Kerry in Egypt.
“I believe I will be meeting him over dinner tonight,” Al-Jubeir said.
He also confirmed China’s President Xi Jinping will visit Saudi Arabia.
“President of China will be coming to Saudi arabia and this has been announced a long time ago,” Al-Jubeir said. “Saudi and china have a huge interest at stake. China is our largest trading partner, we have large investments in China, Chinese companies have large investments in Saudi Arabia.”
Responding to criticism from activists, including Greta Thunberg, that Saudi Arabia is playing down the need to move away from fossil fuels, Al-Jubeir said there’s no contradiction between environmental protection and hydrocarbons production.
“We can do both,” he said. “We have put tremendous financial resources behind those initiatives, so our record is extremely clear.”
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