US President Biden returns home empty-handed after his four-day trip through the Middle East. On the last day, he tried to persuade Saudi Arabia to produce more oil, but Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman says that is impossible.
Additional oil production by Saudi Arabia could lower fuel prices, after sharply rising in the United States and the rest of the world in recent months. But bin Salman says that his country cannot exceed the current 13 million barrels per day. “Our kingdom does not have the additional capacity to increase production.”
Biden’s last appointment was in the Saudi city of Jeddah during a meeting with the leaders of the six Gulf states, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. In his opening speech, he said the United States wanted to remain an active and engaged partner in the Middle East, and called on leaders to improve press freedom and free democracy.
“A government that is free of corruption, that acts transparently and respects the rule of law, is the best way to grow and respond to people’s needs,” the US president said.
The most dangerous thing for Biden was yesterday’s face-to-face meeting with bin Salman, whom the United States accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018. According to Biden, he expressed his position on this “crystal clear.”
In the conversation, bin Salman described the Khashoggi case as a “painful event and a huge mistake.” But according to the Saudi foreign minister, he indicated to Biden that the United States also made mistakes, such as Iraq.
Biden to you bin Salman in the meeting:
Biden began his journey through the Middle East with a visit to Israel, where he spoke with Prime Minister Lapid, among others. Then he met Palestinian President Abbas in Bethlehem.