President Macron warns Biden about Saudi oil production
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A new book claims Nancy Pelosi and the US Democrats’ push to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia was correct. The shocking book by Dr Alexandros Sarris, a Senior Lecturer in International Law at Erasmus University College in Rotterdam, claims Saudi Arabia is “no friend of the west” and its leader Crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has moved the country towards closer ties with Russia and China.
The book comes after Ms Pelosi and US Democrats pushed for an arms ban for Saudi Arabia in the wake of concerns over the war in Yemen but also close ties to Vladimir Putin.
There was anger last month when Saudi Arabia cut back its oil production at the height of the fuel and energy crisis around the world caused by the war in Ukraine and Russia cutting off its oil supplies to Europe.
Democrats in Congress raised the idea of issuing a one-year ban on all arms sales to Saudi Arabia if the kingdom refuses to row back on its oil production decision over the next
The ultimatum followed Biden’s reiteration he would act if Riyah’s oil decision to cut output by two million barrels a day came into effect.
Ms Pelosi has also raised the issue of human rights abuses in the desert kingdom.
Pelosi took to Twitter posting a picture with Areej Al-Sadhan, the sister of Saudi aid worker Abdul Rahman Al-Sadhan who was sentenced to 20 years in jail for satirical tweets.
She said: “Congress will continue to (…) advocate for freedom of expression and for human rights in Saudi Arabia and around the world.”
However, Saudi Arabia has been a key ally for the US and Republicans have raised concerns about the threats to the Kingdom in the middle of the Midterm elections.
Republican House Representative Tom Tiffany has demanded that Ms Pelosi convened a meeting on whether Democrats broke election law in demanding Saudi Arabia upped its oil production during the restricted period.
He said: “This is a very serious allegation. One that, if true, may very well constitute an illegal solicitation of a foreign in-kind contribution by the White House on behalf of Democrats’ midterm campaign efforts.”
Labour have also been pushing for a review of UK relations with Saudi Arabia.
In his book, Dr Sarris said: “The close ties between Russia and Saudi Arabia have continued and deepened as evidenced by Opec’s surprise announcement this week to cut an output by two million barrels per day. The led to spike the price of Brent crude by two percent at $93.80 (£84.61), its highest since September 15.
“More importantly the decision to restrict oil production plays into the hand of President Putin who is using the supply of gas and oil as a weapon to terrorise the West. It is a slap in the face of US President Biden and other European politicians, including former Prime Minister Boris Johnson who begged Riyadh to boost supplies and ease the cost-of-living crisis.”
He continued: “The big question is how to respond to a brutal dictator who is no friend of the West and which has cosied up to China and Russia. One important diplomatic lever we can pull is the provision of arms to the regime.
“The UK, US, Germany and France are all major suppliers of weaponry to Saudi Arabia and should consider immediately halting their sale exactly as some leading Democrats in America are calling for.”
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Dr Sarris also warned that Saudi Arabia is building closer ties to China.
He said: “China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been increasing cooperation in the financial and energy sectors in recent years. China One Belt Road initiative has been welcomed with open hands across various areas. Both crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has suggested that China will boost its diplomatic footprint in the Middle East. They stated that ‘Saudi Arabia is willing to work hard with China to promote global and regional peace, security and prosperity”, the book says.
“In February 2019, Saudi Arabia and China had what has been described as the most important recent exchange. This occurred when crown prince Mohammed bin Salman visited China as part of his Asain Tour. This was the first big trip Mohammed bin Salman took after the assassination of Saudi American Journalist Jamel Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul the Turkish capital in October 2018. Foreign Intelligence accused the crown prince of dispatching a killer squad to assassinate Khashoggi and hiding his remains. Mohammed bin Salman was faced criticism by the international community over his involvement in the death of Khashoggi, but the Trump administration has also supported him.
“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman used the opportunity to stress that ‘China has the right to take anti-terrorism and de-extremism measures to safeguard national security.’ Many people understand this statement to be a clear approval of the Chinese repression of its Uighur minority in Xinjiang province.”
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