According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited US and Saudi sources, the Biden administration has given up on pushing Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production after being repeatedly rejected.

When national security advisor Jake Sullivan brought up the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a meeting last year, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman raged. The disagreement occurred last September when the two men met for the first time since President Joe Biden assumed office.

Despite his desire to strike a “relaxed tone” for their meeting, the crown prince “ended up shouting at Mr. Sullivan after he raised the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” according to the newspaper. “The prince told Mr. Sullivan he didn’t want to talk about it again,” people familiar with the conversation told The Journal. The crown prince also stated that the United States “might forget about its request to increase oil production.”

On October 2, 2018, Khashoggi, a 59-year-old Washington Post columnist known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia, was slain and dismembered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.

A little more than a month later, the CIA concluded that Prince Mohammed, widely known as MBS, had personally ordered Khashoggi’s assassination.

Saudi Arabia is one of several regional countries that have not sanctioned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, recently volunteering to facilitate peace negotiations.

Following the invasion, the US tried to block Russian oil and gas imports and financially isolate the country, causing gas prices to skyrocket. As a result, the US went to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to increase production in order to down prices.

The exchange of US armaments and security guarantees for access to Saudi oil has long been the bedrock of the US-Saudi alliance. Officials informed The Journal that the relationship had reached a breaking point.

MBS is enraged by Biden’s refusal to recognize him as the kingdom’s de facto ruler, as well as Biden’s rhetoric on the country’s human-rights record, the United States’ failure to ensure the kingdom’s security following a string of attacks in Yemen led by Houthi rebels, and the resurrected Iran nuclear deal.

Bin Salman hinted at the breakdown in relations with Washington last month in an interview with The Atlantic. He warned the US not to interfere in the internal affairs of the absolute monarchy. When asked whether Biden misunderstood things about him he said: “Simply, I do not care. [It is up to Biden] to think about the interests of America.”

Sources: Westernjournal, Wsj, Yahoo

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