Saudi Prince Reveals Why Kingdom Felt ‘Let Down’ by Biden, Says US to Blame for Oil Price Crunch

© AP Photo / Kamran JebreiliSaudi Prince Turki al-Faisal file photo.
Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal file photo. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.05.2022
US-Saudi ties hit a new low in March after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declined to pick up the phone to speak to President Joe Biden to discuss soaring oil prices. The same month, US media reported that Riyadh was in talks with Beijing on pricing some of its oil in yuan – a prospect that could strike a death blow to the petrodollar.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the US and the UK, and the former director general of the kingdom’s General Intelligence Directorate, has shed light on the major causes of the unprecedented cooling of Saudi-US relations under Joe Biden.

“The people I speak to…do not necessarily feel betrayed…[but] let down at a time when we thought that America and Saudi Arabia should be together in facing what would consider to be a joint not just irritant but danger to the stability and security of the area”, Prince Turki said in an interview with Arab News.

This “danger”, the prince said, stems from “the Iranian influence in Yemen and their direction of the Houthis as a tool not only to destabilize Saudi Arabia, but also affect the security and stability of the international sea lanes along the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Sea”.
The former official suggested that President Biden’s decision to delist the Houthis as a “foreign terrorist organisation” shortly after coming into office in early 2021, and his move to end US military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, “emboldened” the militia group “and made them even more aggressive in their attacks on Saudi Arabia…and the United Arab Emirates”.
The Saudi-backed government in Yemen suffered a major blow last month after Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, the exiled former president of Yemen who fled to Riyadh in 2015 and prompted Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Gulf allies to kick off a years-long military campaign to try to restore him to power, announced his resignation.
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“We have always considered our relationship with the US as being strategic”, Prince Turki said. “We’ve had our ups and downs over the years and perhaps, at this time, it’s one of the downs, particularly since the president of the US, in his election campaign, said that he will make Saudi Arabia a pariah”.

“And, of course, he went on to practice what he preached”, the former official added, pointing to the end of US military support, Biden’s refusal to meet with Crown Prince Salman, “and, at one stage, withdrawing anti-aircraft missile batteries from the Kingdom when we were facing an increase in attacks by the Houthis using Iranian equipment like missiles and drones”.

Tehran has publicly expressed support for the Houthis' war of resistance against Saudi Arabia, but has repeatedly dismissed allegations that it is arming the Shia militia –pointing to the Saudi-led coalition’s air and maritime blockade of the country.
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Oil Price Crisis of US’ Own Making
Commenting on the energy shocks which the US and its allies have faced in recent months, Prince Turki said that the predicament was the result of Washington’s own energy policy and geopolitical strategy.

“President Biden made it a policy of the US government to cut all links to what is called the oil and gas industry. He curtailed oil production and gas production in the US [when] it had been, in the last few years, the biggest producer of these two energy resources”, he said. On top of that, he said, there was “the European and US curtailment of, and sanctions on, the Russian oil industry. All of these things have added to the increase in oil prices”.

Prince Turki said Riyadh’s position on the crisis in Ukraine has been to “condemn the aggression” against Kiev, but to simultaneously offer to serve “as a mediator” to resolve the situation, which will require maintaining “a link and the ability to talk to both sides”. Riyadh, the prince said, has enjoyed “excellent relations” with both Russia and Ukraine “in the recent past”.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud speak to reporters at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.04.2022
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