Saudi Arabia, US to increase cooperation in energy market, other sectors: Statement

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Washington and Riyadh have agreed to increase cooperation in the energy market in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the countries announced in a joint statement Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to the United States week to participate in the inaugural US-Saudi Strategic Dialogue.

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During his trip, the Saudi FM said the dialogue marked a “new era” in the US-Saudi relationship.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed the mutual commitment with Riyadh to countering Iranian malign activity in the region.

In a joint statement Tuesday, both sides said they would enhance “cooperation to promote resilient energy markets, especially in light of the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

OPEC and allies, including Russia, known as OPEC+, agreed in April they would gradually ease production cuts -- introduced to support prices after a plunge in demand caused by the pandemic -- with one phase of the easing set to begin on January 1.

However, a second wave of infections has put a question mark over this timetable.

OPEC+ is cutting output by 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) to help support prices and reduce inventories. It is due to reduce this to 5.7 million bpd from January 1.

Additionally, the US and Saudi Arabia will look to bolster economic ties. “Expanding commercial opportunities, investing in infrastructure, and restoring international travel and transportation as part of the economic recovery” will be methods to do this.

In the statement, the US lauded Saudi Arabia’s leadership within the Arab Coalition, including the efforts to end the Yemeni conflict through political negotiations.

“The United States and Saudi Arabia stressed the importance of their close partnership in countering terrorism and the Kingdom’s key role in maintaining regional and international security, and the two countries reviewed mutual efforts to strengthen security in Iraq,” the statement read.

During a press conference last week, Pompeo said the US supported “a robust program of arm sales to Saudi Arabia, a line of effort that helps the Kingdom protect its citizens and sustains American jobs.”

Read more:

Saudi Arabia’s FM heads to Washington for first US-Saudi Strategic Dialogue talks

Saudi energy minister reiterates OPEC+ commitment to support volatile markets

- with Reuters

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