The Saudi crown prince and the United Arab Emirates sheikh have both rejected President Biden’s overtures to aid the United States on lowering world oil and gas prices.
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“The White House unsuccessfully tried to arrange calls between President Biden and the de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the U.S. was working to build international support for Ukraine and contain a surge in oil prices,” Middle East and U.S. officials said, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.
“Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Mr. Biden in recent weeks, the officials said, as Saudi and Emirati officials have become more vocal in recent weeks in their criticism of American policy in the Gulf,” WSJ noted.
“There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,“ said a U.S. official about Biden’s planned call to the Saudis. ”It was part of turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil].”
Biden spoke with Prince Mohammed’s 86-year-old father, King Salman on Feb. 9, the report said. The U.A.E. said a call between Biden and Sheikh Mohammed would be ‘rescheduled.’
“The Saudis have signaled that their relationship with Washington has deteriorated under the Biden administration, and they want more support for their intervention in Yemen’s civil war, help with their own civilian nuclear program as Iran’s moves ahead, and legal immunity for Prince Mohammed in the U.S.,” WSJ reported, citing Saudi officials.