Trump praises Saudi Arabia for lowering oil prices, urges cheaper crude
Trump’s Wednesday tweet comes shortly after the president proclaimed that Saudi Arabia would remain a “steadfast partner” of Washington despite the ongoing probe into the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.
Despite the Khashoggi scandal, Trump highlighted the strength of US ties with authorities of the oil-rich kingdom.
“Saudi Arabia, if we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof,” Trump told reporters back then. “I’ve kept them down. They’ve helped me keep them down.”
Major crude benchmarks recovered slightly on Wednesday, but oil prices have fallen by over 28 percent since the beginning of October. Brent crude was trading 95 cents higher on Wednesday at above $63 a barrel, while US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up a dollar higher at over $54 a barrel.
The US president also said that Washington was not planning to introduce any punitive measures against Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case, stressing that the US intelligence agencies keep on assessing the information on the alleged murder.
Last week, media reports emerged that the CIA had named the Crown Prince as the person who had given the order to kill the journalist, but both Trump and the State Department quickly dismissed the allegation as “inaccurate.”
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