Biden talks energy and security with Saudi King Salman

AP/Patrick Semansky

President Biden discussed global energy supplies and security in the Middle East with Saudi King Houthi Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on Wednesday.

The White House, in a readout of the call, said the two leaders “further reiterated the United States’ and Saudi Arabia’s commitment to ensuring the stability of global energy supplies.”

Biden and Salman also discussed “regional developments and issues of mutual concern,” which includes attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis against civilians in Saudi Arabia.

Government forces in Yemen have been pushing back on the Houthis in recent weeks as the rebel group is looking to seize control of the northern portion of Yemen.

“The President underscored the U.S. commitment to support Saudi Arabia in the defense of its people and territory from these attacks and full support for UN-led efforts to end the war in Yemen,” the White House said.

Salman said the call touched on upholding balance and stability in petroleum markets, Reuters reported, citing SPA, the Saudi state news agency. Saudi Arabia reportedly exports the most amount of crude oil in the OPEC oil production group.

Reuters also reported that Salman stressed that it is necessary to preserve the supply consensus it has with OPEC+, which is made up of nations that are not part of OPEC but do export crude oil.

The call came the week after OPEC+ said it would continue to increase its oil output by medium amounts, according to Reuters. The group has reportedly had trouble with reaching targets that are already in place.

The price of crude oil across the globe has gone up roughly 20 percent this year, according to Reuters, and is likely to surpass $100 a barrel because of relatively stable demand.

Additionally, the two leaders spoke about nuclear weapons. The White House said Biden “noted his commitment to ensuring that Iran can never obtain a nuclear weapon and briefed the King on ongoing multilateral talks to reestablish constraints on Iran’s nuclear program.”

Senators emerged from briefings on the Iran nuclear talks Wednesday saying they were sobered by how much the country’s nuclear program has advanced since former President Trump withdrew from a multilateral deal constraining it. 

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