You wouldn’t last two weeks without us, Donald Trump tells Saudi king

Posted October 04, 2018

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Saudi Arabia's king "might not be there for two weeks" without US military support, as he sought to pressure the close American ally over rising oil prices. You have to pay for your military, ' Trump said.

Oil prices have risen in recent weeks ahead of United States sanctions on Iran - set to be imposed early next month.

It remains to be seen if Trump can convince the Saudis to take a more aggressive line, although it should be noted that Saudi Arabia's decision to increase production by 300,000 bpd from August levels is not trivial.

"If we look at the two countries' rise of production in comparison to their commitments in the Declaration of Cooperation, we see Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have had respectively a 346,000 and 250,000 BPD output rise, and this production rise is a violation to the (OPEC) agreement on output cut", Kazempour Ardebili said. Would you say they're rich.

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Trump did not specify when he made the remarks to the Saudi monarch but they come on the back of increasing oil prices in the US.

"We protect Saudi Arabia".

In addition to lowering oil prices, Trump has called on close US allies to shoulder more of the cost of defense spending, but Tuesday warning marked the most serious criticism of Riyadh. Since the group's September meeting in Algiers, Brent crude has jumped US$6 to about US$85 a barrel, a four-year high.

Oil prices remain firm on Iran sanctions, with both West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the USA benchmark, and Brent crude, the global benchmark, trading at multiyear highs. Since the kingdom rebuffed his calls last month for a rapid production increase to offset the impact of sanctions on Iran, the president has amplified his rhetoric.

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Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in NY last month, Trump accused OPEC members of "ripping off the rest of the world". Not good. We want them to stop raising prices.

He further added, "we defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices".

He has also pressed other USA allies, such as Japan, South Korea and Germany, to take more of the financial burden of their defense.

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