Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan snubbed President Joe Biden and declined US requests to get on the phone with Joe as his administration looks for any way to pump more fuel into the world economy to lower prices.
The Persian Gulf monarchies have been signaling for weeks they will not help ease surging oil prices unless Washington supports them in Yemen and on a few other issues. The two leaders have been speaking to Vladimir Putin though and have agreed to not break an earlier agreement between OPEC, Russia, and other oil producers that limits production.
While Biden has undoubtedly bungled the relationship between Saudi, UAE, and America, the monarchs should be wary of pissing off the American people. Presidents come and go but we are the ones who have been guaranteeing their basic security for years, even when they attacked us on 911. It would be wise for them to remember this.
“There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,“ said a U.S. official of the planned call between the Saudi Prince Mohammed and Mr. Biden. ”It was part of turning on the spigot of Saudi oil.”
Yousef Al Otaiba, the U.A.E. ambassador to the U.S., said relations between the two countries were not the best at present but he hoped that would change.
“It is like any relationship,” he said. “It has strong days where the relationship is very healthy and days where the relationship is under question. Today, we’re going through a stress test, but I am confident that we will get out of it and get to a better place.”
Both Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Mohammed did take phone calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin last week and both spoke with Ukraine’s president.
The Wall Street Journal reported, “The White House unsuccessfully tried to arrange calls between President Biden and the de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the U.S. was working to build international support for countering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and contain a surge in oil prices, said Middle East and U.S. officials.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Mr. Biden in recent weeks, the officials said, as Saudi and Emirati officials have become more vocal in recent weeks in their criticisms of American policy in the Gulf.
Saudi, Emirati leaders decline calls with Biden.https://t.co/l0w2rYwytO— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) March 8, 2022
Biden is in trouble https://t.co/U0kxFLzL2M— curtmills (@CurtMills) March 8, 2022
The White House unsuccessfully tried to arrange calls between Biden and the de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE on countering Russia and containing a surge in oil prices. Both leaders spoke to Putin last week, after declining to speak with Biden. https://t.co/mKJwokoM7u— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) March 8, 2022