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Senior U.S. And Saudi Officials Meet Amid OPEC+ Impasse

Senior officials in the Biden Administration met this week with a younger brother of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in what was the first officially acknowledged high-level meeting between the United States and Saudi Arabia since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The meeting on Tuesday in Washington between U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Saudi Vice Minister of Defense, Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, a younger brother to the powerful crown prince, came just as the Biden Administration is urging the OPEC+ group – led by Saudi Arabia — to settle the ongoing dispute about baseline production levels and open the taps, as it was planned, and meet growing global oil demand.

The U.S. and Saudi officials discussed in their meeting “the longstanding partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia, regional security, and the U.S. commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” the White House said.

“They also discussed the importance of coordinating efforts to ensure a strong global economic recovery, to advance the climate agenda, and to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East,” the U.S. Administration noted.

“Coordinating efforts to ensure a strong global economic recovery” may have entailed discussions about the OPEC+ deadlock, which resulted from the standoff between OPEC members Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over what the Emirati believe is an “unfairly low” baseline level for its production quota.

“We are closely monitoring the OPEC Plus negotiations and their impact on the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday.

“[W]e’re not a party to these talks, but, over the weekend and into this week, we’ve had a number of high-level conversations with officials in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other relevant partners,” she added.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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