President Joe Biden has “no plans” to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman next month after the kingdom moved to cut international oil production in line with Russia, a senior White House official said Sunday.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the president would continue to examine the U.S. relationship with the Saudis ahead of the G20 summit in Indonesia next month. But Sullivan added the president wouldn’t make any major diplomatic shifts until Congress returns from its recess.
“This is a relationship that got built over decades on a bipartisan basis. And so the president isn’t going to act precipitously,” Sullivan said Sunday on CNN’s “Face the Nation.” “He is going to act methodically, strategically. And he’s going to take his time and consult with members of both parties, and also to have an opportunity for Congress to return so that he can sit with them in person and work through the options.”
Biden said earlier this month it was time for the U.S. to rethink its relationship with Saudi Arabia, saying there would be “consequences” after the kingdom allied with the Kremlin, saying the OPEC+ bloc of oil-producing nations would dramatically cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day.
OPEC+ includes Saudi Arabia, Russia and other major petroleum exporters, although the bloc is effectively led by the Saudis.
The move is expected to lift falling oil prices, which will, in turn, help Russian President Vladimir Putin fund his ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The decision will also lift U.S. gas prices ahead of the midterm elections, a crucial barometer of political support.
“There’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done with Russia,” Biden said at the time.
Sullivan said Sunday that one potential shift could be a reevaluation of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, although he said there was “nothing imminently moving now” on the issue.