November 28, 2022

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Biden admin to 'reassess' relationship with Saudi Arabia, but not China

President Biden’s administration plans to “reassess” America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, a move that could spark historic and global ramifications after the Saudis joined Russia in limiting oil exports last week.

However, the administration remarked that it would not “reassess” its relationship with China, which has bought more oil from Russia than any other nation.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused the Saudis of siding with Russia on Tuesday. She announced Biden’s plans to take a step back from the long U.S. alliance with the Saudi government, though both the president and the administration have refused to offer details on potential actions.

The Saudi government-led oil cartel OPEC+ announced it would cut oil production earlier this week, despite an aggressive push from the U.S. and other Western allies to at least delay the move. Many European countries are facing strained energy supplies this year as Russia has limited exports in retaliation to Western economic sanctions over President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, when asked by FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence on Wednesday, denied a “reassessment” of China would take place. He cited what he called America’s “complex” relationship with China, and noted how Chinese President Xi Jinping was said to have raised “questions and concerns” to Putin over the Ukraine war during an in-person meeting last month. Kirby called it a “public rebuke” of Putin’s actions, the first of its kind.

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“We believe by the decision that OPEC+ made last week, (Saudi Arabia is) certainly aligning themselves with Russia,” Jean-Pierre said during a Tuesday briefing at the White House. “And right now, this is not the time to be aligning with Russia, especially with this brutal, unprecedented war that they started in Ukraine.”

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Biden’s allies in Congress are also pushing for him to make a move against the Saudis. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., called on the White House to “immediately freeze all aspects of our cooperation with Saudi Arabia” on Monday. He added that the U.S. should consider cutting off arms sales to the country.

“There simply is no room to play both sides of this conflict – either you support the rest of the free world in trying to stop a war criminal from violently wiping off an entire country off of the map, or you support him,” Menendez wrote. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia chose the latter in a terrible decision driven by economic self-interest.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, also called for Biden to “act immediately.” The senator held a joint press conference on Wednesday with Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., proposing an end to arms sales to the Saudis.

“I would do more than re-evaluate. I would act immediately,” he said in an interview. “He has been misled and double-crossed, and I don’t think he should or will take lightly to it.”

Biden himself confirmed that he is exploring “consequences” for Saudi Arabia in an interview on Tuesday.

“There’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done with Russia,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview released Tuesday. “I’m not going to get into what I’d consider and what I have in mind. But there will be consequences.”

FOX Business Network’s Edward Lawrence contributed to this report.


Source: Politics