Durbin calls for US to ‘imagine a world without’ Saudi alliance
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called for the U.S. to “imagine a world” without its alliance with Saudi Arabia on Thursday, after the oil-rich country and its fellow OPEC+ members announced they would be cutting oil production.
“From unanswered questions about 9/11 & the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, to conspiring w/ [Russia President Vladimir] Putin to punish the US w/ higher oil prices, the royal Saudi family has never been a trustworthy ally of our nation,” Durbin wrote in a tweet. “It’s time for our foreign policy to imagine a world without their alliance.”
The OPEC+ bloc, which includes non-OPEC members like Russia, announced on Wednesday that it plans to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day, a move that could cause oil prices to rise after the U.S. experienced a reprieve from high gas prices in recent weeks.
President Biden made a trip to the Middle East in the summer and met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to discuss energy security amid soaring gas prices in the United States.
The Biden administration criticized the move on Wednesday, accusing OPEC+ of aligning with Russia.
News of the decision to cut oil production was immediately excoriated by Democrats.
“I thought the whole point of selling arms to the Gulf States despite their human rights abuses, nonsensical Yemen War, working against US interests in Libya, Sudan etc, was that when an international crisis came, the Gulf could choose America over Russia/China,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tweeted.
Durbin also pointed to Saudi Arabia’s history of “unjust arrests” in his tweets on Thursday.
“Raif Badawi, finally released after 10 years in jail, but unable to leave SA to reunite w/ family in Canada,” Durbin said. “Waleed Abu al-Khair, human rights lawyer still in jail. Salma al-Shehab, women’s rights activist facing outrageous 34 year prison sentence.”
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.