Saudi Arabia pushed Arab states to issue statements backing OPEC+ oil cuts

Saudi Arabia pushed Arab states to issue statements backing OPEC+ oil cuts

Shafaq News/ Saudi Arabia pushed multiple Arab states to issue statements backing this month's OPEC+ oil cut move, an Arab and an ex-American official have both said.

Riyadh's private efforts probably aimed at preventing the US isolating Riyadh and to demonstrate that all Arab OPEC+ members collectively elected to cut oil production, news website Axios said on Wednesday.

The Saudi-led OPEC+ oil cartel, made up of OPEC members and associated states, including Russia, in early October said it would slash output by two million barrels a day from November.

The US was frustrated by the decision and argued it would aid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while officials from the kingdom contended Washington was worried about increasing gas prices before midterm elections.

The US has said it was re-evaluating its relationship with Riyadh and President Joe Biden said "there will be consequences" for the Gulf nation.

To challenge American claims, Saudi Arabia has recently contacted Arab states on a "very senior level" - both within and outside OPEC+ - to request they make public statements in support of the move.

An ex-US official said Riyadh pushed Arab nations to reiterate the Saudi line that the OPEC+ oil cuts were wholly economic and non-political.

Countries including the UAE, Kuwait, Algeria and Egypt made statements saying the move was only technical and was backed by all OPEC+ members.

A statement from Jordan backed the Saudis, though urged Riyadh and the US to engage with each other directly to deal with the dispute.

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