The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has returned from his Middle East oil hunting trip without any promise or pledge from neither Saudi Arabia nor United Arab Emirates.
Boris Johnson had been to the two Arab countries to secure the assistance of Middle East oil exporters in pressuring President Vladimir Putin to end Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine. At the end of his meeting, he was not able to secure any immediate pledges from either countries.
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While on a mission to persuade the world to cut off their imports from Russia to punish Putin, he was in the Middle East to persuade Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to announce a ramp-up of oil supplies to counter-balance the Russian oil.
In a response to a reporter’s question whether Saudi Arabia would boost output, he replied;
“I think you need to talk to the Saudis about that. But I think there was an understanding of the need to ensure stability in global oil markets and gas markets and the need to avoid damaging price spikes.”
The Western allies have been trying to secure new oil supplies since the war in Ukraine started following Russian Invasion of its southern neighbor.
The hopes to secure this supply from Iran faded, as Russia threw a spanner in the wheel of negotiations on the Iran-Nuclear deal when she demanded that sanctions imposed on her due to the Ukrainian Invasion should not be applicable to Iran trade.
The U.S. mission to Venezuela was equally unproductive, as they failed to get the Russian allied Maduro government in Caracas to pump more oil into the global market.
International crude prices soared to a 13-year high earlier this month as the Ukraine crisis escalated.
Johnson ended his trip to the Arabian Peninsula on Wednesday after meetings with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi.
UK Foreign Minister on Thursday denied Boris Johnson returned empty-handed from his Saudi Arabia trip and insisted the PM had raised human rights issues – despite three more prisoners being executed during the visit.
The Downing Street readout of the discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last night only made a vague reference to oil, while the Saudis did not mention it at all.
In interviews on Thursday morning reported by Daily Mail, Foreign Office minister James Cleverly said Mr Johnson was never likely to get an agreement “in the room” on oil production.
Asked whether Mr Johnson had come away with an agreement following his meetings in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Mr Cleverly replied;
“I don’t think it was ever likely to be the case that it would be something that was agreed in the room.
‘The oil-producing states will need to negotiate with each other as well as making internal political decisions, as you would expect.”
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur
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