Saudi Arabia should ‘not be blamed’ for protecting its interests – finance minister

Saudi Arabia should ‘not be blamed’ for protecting its interests – finance minister

Adds quotes, political context

DUBAI, Oct 27 (Reuters)Saudi Arabia, which has faced sharp criticism from the United States over OPEC+ oil output policy, “should not be blamed” for protecting its interests, Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said on Thursday.

Al-Jadaan made the comment in a televised interview with Al-Arabiya when asked about a recent remark by U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about the relationship between the two countries needing “recalibration“.

President Joe Biden had pledged to impose consequences against Saudi Arabia after the OPEC+ oil producer alliance led by Riyadh earlier this month agreed to cut oil output targets ahead of U.S. mid-term elections in November and as Western nations discuss a price-cap on Russian oil. Russia is in OPEC+.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, defended the move as serving market stability.

“We should not be blamed for protecting the interests of the kingdom and its people,” Jadaan told the Saudi-owned TV channel.

Echoing other Saudi officials, he said Riyadh’s ties with the U.S. were strategic and decades-long and that relations were ongoing.

Blinken on Wednesday described as positive developments Saudi Arabia’s recent moves to provide aid to Ukraine and its vote at the United Nations condemning Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory, but said they did not compensate for the “wrong” OPEC+ decision.

(Reporting by Lina Najem and Nadine Awadalla; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by John Stonestreet and Mike Harrison)


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