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Some of the largest Gulf oil producers, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are seeking to sign a written treaty with the United States under which the U.S. could provide defense support after attacks from Yemen have intensified, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, quoting sources with knowledge of the proposal.
Ideally, the major oil exporters in the Arab Gulf would seek a formal treaty with the United States, the sources told Bloomberg, but expanded and revised bilateral defense support agreements could also work, one of the sources said.
The UAE is also reportedly asking Israel to help push the case, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
Several high-profile attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE have occurred since the start of the year. All attacks were claimed by or attributed to the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen.
In January, an attack with drones on the UAE, for which the Houthi rebels later claimed responsibility, killed several people and blew up fuel tanker trucks near storage facilities owned by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
Back then, the United States strongly condemned the attack, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, adding that “Our commitment to the security of the UAE is unwavering and we stand beside our Emirati partners against all threats to their territory.”
Most recently, videos emerged on social media last week, suggesting that the Houthi rebels had launched a barrage of missiles on Saudi Arabia on Friday morning that have hit a Saudi Aramco oil facility in Jeddah.
This strike was the second such strike launched by the Houthi militia in five days on Aramco’s facilities in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis used missiles and drones to target at least six Aramco’s sites the previous week, prompting Riyadh to state that it is not responsible for high oil prices and suggesting that OPEC has no intention of raising production beyond what has already been agreed to by the cartel.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com
The right approach is for Saudi Arabia and UAE to end the war unilaterally, seek a rapprochement with Iran and help rebuild damaged Yemen. This is far cheaper than continuing to buy hundreds of billions of American weaponry and paying the United States Mafia-like protection money.
This approach provides a far more effective protection to Saudi and UAE oil installations than continuing the war on Yemen and most certainly than involving the United States in their defence. Otherwise, they will end up paying the United States Mafia-like protection money for ever exactly as former US President Trump openly and insultingly told the House of Saud that ‘it won’t stay in power for two weeks without US protection’. The House of Saud should prove him and other American administrations wrong.
Moreover, if the United States is prepared to make one major concession after another for the sake of reaching a nuclear deal with Iran, both Saudi Arabia and UAE should also take a leaf from the United States’ book and seek a rapprochement with Iran as well.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London