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President Joe Biden refused Thursday to ask Saudi Arabia to produce more oil to bring down the cost of gasoline in the United States and around the world.
Biden was specifically asked during his press conference in Europe about what he would say to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about oil during their scheduled meeting in July.
“No, I’m not going to ask them,” he said, noting that he already “indicated” to all the Gulf heads of state his desire for them to produce more oil.
“I hope we see them, in their own interest, concluding that makes sense to do,” Biden said.
Biden argued that his trip to Saudi Arabia was about Middle East peace negotiations with Israel, not the production of oil.
“I’m sure — it’s in Saudi Arabia, but it’s not about Saudi Arabia,” he said. “It’s in Saudi Arabia.”
Biden said he was not even sure he would end up speaking to the Saudi leaders.
“I’m not even sure; I guess I will see the King and the Crown Prince, but that’s — that’s not the meeting I’m going to,” he said. “They’ll be part of a much larger meeting.”
Biden has frequently gone out of his way to criticize Saudi Arabia despite their influence on global oil markets.
During his presidential campaign, Biden vowed to treat Saudi Arabia as a “pariah” but ultimately agreed to a meeting with their leaders in July.
Biden blamed high gas prices around the world on Russia invading Ukraine — even though gas prices in the United States were already rising rapidly before the war began.
“The bottom line is: Ultimately, the reason why gas prices are up is because of Russia,” he said. “Russia, Russia, Russia.”
Biden and his administration continue to pursue anti-fossil fuel policies, putting the country more at the mercy of oil-rich foreign dictators.
When asked how long drivers would be paying for gas, Biden replied, “As long as it takes. So Russia cannot, in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine.”