Saudi King Salman, President Trump reaffirmed strong US-Saudi ties: Cabinet briefing
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and US President Donald Trump reaffirmed “the historical and strategic relations” between their two countries in a recent phone call, King Salman told the Saudi Arabian Cabinet in a meeting on Tuesday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
King Salman and President Trump recently held a phone call in which they reaffirmed US-Saudi relations amid a US military redeployment in the region. King Salman briefed his Cabinet on the call in a virtual meeting on Tuesday in which ministers also discussed coronavirus and the oil market, reported SPA.
The Cabinet also discussed the regional and international response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, reported SPA, including discussing the latest reported cases in the Kingdom.
Ministers reviewed the results of active screening and testing across Saudi Arabia’s regions, which had contributed to a lower death rate than the global average, added the statement.
The total number of cases in Saudi Arabia reached 42,925 on Tuesday, following 1,911 new confirmed cases in a day. The death toll is 264, which is comparatively low considering the Kingdom’s population of 30 million.
Cases have increased since authorities eased lockdown restrictions at the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior announced that a full day lockdown and curfew across the Kingdom will be reintroduced during the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holidays from May 23 until May 27. Until then, the current eased restrictions will remain.
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Commitment to oil stability
The Cabinet also reiterated Saudi Arabia’s support for the stability of oil markets, according to a statement given to SPA by Acting Minister of Media Dr. Majed bin Abdullah Al-Gasabi.
Oil prices have fallen off a cliff since the year began, down over 50 percent as the coronavirus pandemic erases demand for petroleum products. In the resulting market turmoil, energy producers have slashed capital spending prompting some analysts to suggest that prices will skyrocket in the future when demand returns.
Many of the world’s leading oil producers struck a historic oil output cut deal in early April to reduce their output by more than 20 percent. The deal took effect on May 1, but Saudi Arabia and other major producers have since announced further cuts to production in a bid to support markets and avoid global oil storage space running out.
Al-Gasabi pointed to Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the agreement and its voluntary one million barrel per day (bpd) extra cut as evidence of its support for market stability.