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Tension with US over oil: Pakistan decides to side Saudi Arabia
Pakistan-Saudi Arabia
File image of Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif by Flickr/Shehbaz Sharif via Wikimedia Commons

Tension with US over oil: Pakistan decides to side Saudi Arabia

| @indiablooms | 22 Oct 2022, 12:17 am

Islamabad: Pakistan has decided to take the side of Saudi Arabia at a time when the Middle East nation has locked horns with the United States over the cut in oil supply in the international market.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, which lead the OPEC + cartel, recently decided to cut crude oil supply by 2 million barrels a day in order to avoid a plunge in the oil prices in the international markets because of fear of global economic recession, reports The Express Tribune.

The United States, however, strongly reacted to the OPEC + decision with President Joe Biden announcing a review of bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia.

Biden visited Saudi Arabia in July to meet leaders of oil rich Gulf countries including Saudi de facto ruler Muhammad bin Salman as part of his efforts to push for increase in oil supplies.

He met MBS despite promising in the election campaign to make him a pariah because of his alleged role in the murder of a Saudi American journalist, the newspaper reported.

Western commentators believe that Saudi Arabia clearly sided with Russia as an increase in oil prices would only benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Interestingly, Pakistan too was hoping for a decrease in international crude oil prices because that would have given the beleaguered government some cushion to provide relief to the inflation-hit people.

But despite the OPEC + decision that would create more problems for the struggling Pakistan economy, Islamabad decided to back Riyadh.

“In the wake of statements made against the Kingdom in the context of the OPEC + decision, Pakistan expresses solidarity with the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” a statement issued here by the foreign office read as quoted by the newspaper.

“We appreciate the concerns of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for avoiding market volatility and ensuring global economic stability,” it added.

“Pakistan encourages a constructive approach on such issues based on engagement and mutual respect. We reaffirm our long-standing, abiding and fraternal ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the foreign office further said.

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