NEW YORK: Days after US President Donald Trump warned that the oil-rich kingdom’s leadership might not last “two weeks” without American support, Saudi crown prince praised the US leader saying “any friend will say good things and bad things”.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was quoted as saying, “I love working with him, [Trump]. You know, you have to accept that any friend will say good things and bad things.”
Trump has increased his verbal attacks on OPEC as global benchmark. Brent crude oil has risen to a four-year high. At the United Nations last month, Trump said OPEC was “ripping off the rest of the world” with crude prices, now about $85 a barrel. He warned that “we are not going to put up with these horrible prices much longer”.
According to Bloomberg, “Trump has heaped particular pressure on Saudi Arabia, the world’s top exporter of crude oil, to do more to ease prices, by linking the American military presence in the Persian Gulf to the kingdom’s oil-production policy.”
“How about our military deals where we protect rich nations that we don’t get reimbursed?” Trump told a campaign rally in Mississippi on Tuesday.
“I love the king, King Salman, but I said, ‘King, we’re protecting you. You have to pay for your military, you have to pay.’”
It’s a theme he’s been sounding for years, tweeting in March 2015 that if Saudi Arabia “wants our help and protection, they must pay dearly! NO FREEBIES” .
And it’s not restricted to Saudi Arabia. In his speech to the UN General Assembly last month, the president said the US expected “other countries to pay their fair share”.
Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2018