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President Biden confirmed US partnership and commitment to working with the Middle East as Saudi Arabia announces an increase in oil production.
“The US will remain an active partner in the Middle East as the world becomes more competitive,” Biden told reporters in Jeddah on Saturday. “It’s becoming clearer to me how closely America’s interests are intertwined with success in the Middle East. We will not leave to leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia or Iran.”
He added: “We will seek to seize this moment under active, principled American leadership.”
Biden’s comments follow a string of tense talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over energy production and human rights. The Crown Prince announced that Saudi Arabia will increase production from about 10 million barrels of crude oil per day to 13 million.
“Energy producers have ramped up production and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next month,” Biden said of the developments. The White House stressed that it does not expect the exit to happen immediately, but rather in the coming months.
But Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told reporters on Saturday that the president did not discuss oil production during meetings over the weekend.
“Specific oil production was not discussed at the summit,” Farhan said. “In fact, this was not the subject of the summit. It is clear that OPEC Plus has recently responded to market conditions and they will continue to assess market conditions going forward and will do what they deem necessary to keep the markets balanced.”
Another topic of serious conversation, which was likely related to securing Saudi Arabia’s cooperation in a much-needed increase in oil production, has centered on Iran’s increasingly developing nuclear capability.
Experts have previously told Fox News Digital that if Iran gets the ability to produce nuclear weapons, it will most likely explode. domino effect that will start with Saudi Arabia looking for ways to defend itself against such weapons.
Biden called Iran’s “destabilizing activities” the cause of “critical changes” in the region. He pledged to work with Saudi Arabia and other Middle East partners to ensure that Iran does not reach nuclear potential.
“The United States clearly sees the problems in the Middle East and where we can make a difference,” the president said. “Our goal is achievable.”
But many have criticized the president for his seemingly familiar greeting to the crown prince, the man who allegedly ordered the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The President said on Friday he confronted the crown prince of death and confirmed his belief that the crown prince had indeed ordered the attack.
Biden insisted that this disagreement did not and would not prevent progress on other issues, despite the fact that the Washington Post, which Khashoggi contributed to during his career, and Khashoggi’s wife criticized Biden for his actions.
“I have received a lot of criticism over the years,” the president said. “It’s not fun, but being able to speak openly and share ideas freely is what paves the way for innovation.”
“Accountable institutions that are free from corruption, operate transparently and respect the rule of law are the best way to ensure growth, respond to people’s needs and, I believe, ensure fairness.”