Trump threatens Saudi to cut oil supply
Published: 09:07 PM, 1 May 2020
US President Donald Trump with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Oil prices have begun to fall around the world following the outbreak of the global epidemic coronavirus. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has started an oil price war with Russia. The United States pressed Saudi Arabia to move away from such activities.
Trump spoke over phone with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman on April 2 and threatened to stop oil price cutting war. He also threatened to pass a law withdrawing all US troops from Saudi Arabia unless the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) stop cutting oil production.
After 10 days of the phone conversations with Trump, Prince Salman announced his decision to reduce oil production. The joint decision to end the Saudi-Russian price war and reduce oil production is being hailed as a diplomatic victory for the White House, just as oil prices have plummeted due to the coronavirus. Trump also risked his 75-year alliance with Saudi Arabia to prove that he is doing his utmost to protect the US oil industry.
A senior U.S. official told Reuters that the administration notified Saudi leaders that, without production cuts, “there would be no way to stop the U.S. Congress from imposing restrictions that could lead to a withdrawal of U.S. forces.” The official summed up the argument, made through various diplomatic channels, as telling Saudi leaders: “We are defending your industry while you’re destroying ours.”
Reuters asked Trump about the talks in an interview at the White House on Wednesday evening, if he had said anything like that to the Saudi prince, Trump said he did not have to say anything like that. "I think Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin are very rational. They knew there was a problem between them and then they came up with a solution on their own."
Saudi Arabia’s government media office did not respond to a request for comment. A Saudi official who asked not to be named stressed that the agreement represented the will of all countries in the so-called OPEC+ group of oil-producing nations, which includes OPEC plus a coalition led by Russia.