Saudi Crown Prince threatened to damage US economy – media

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According to the Washington Post, citing leaked documents, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman secretly threatened to hurt the American economy after President Joe Biden warned Saudi Arabia of “consequences” for agreeing to limit oil production with Russia.

Following Riyadh’s decision to cut crude production against US preferences, the Biden administration indicated it would re-evaluate relations with the monarchy.

The Crown Prince, often known as MBS, threatened that if Biden reprimanded Saudi Arabia, he would no longer deal with the US administration. He also warned “major economic consequences for Washington,” according to the Washington Post on Thursday.

The threat was found in a confidential document leaked on a Discord website, although it was unclear whether the remark was part of intercepted communications or a private message made to the US.

Biden expressed his displeasure with Riyadh in October, when the OPEC+ group of major oil producers, including Russia, agreed to limit output by two million barrels per day. Washington was attempting to penalize Moscow’s oil trade in response to the Ukraine war.

“There will be some consequences for what they’ve done with Russia,” the US president stated at the time in an interview with CNN, without elaborating on any potential sanctions.

Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” on the campaign trail before his election, citing the Crown Prince’s apparent complicity in the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, which Riyadh blamed on renegade agents.

This danger never materialized, according to White House officials, since the Biden administration chose not to jeopardize bilateral relations. Under a decades-old agreement, the US supplies security to Saudi Arabia in exchange for continued access to its oil, which the kingdom trades for dollars, so supporting the country’s currency as a global reserve currency.

A number of senior US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, recently visited Saudi Arabia. These relationships stand in stark contrast to the rumored lack of personal chemistry between Biden and MBS, who have not met since last July.

The 37-year-old Saudi Crown Prince, who is in charge of the kingdom’s day-to-day operations in the absence of his father, King Salman, reportedly mocks Biden in private, making fun of his gaffes and mental lapses. Critics of President Trump have accused him of bowing to Saudi pressure.