On Wednesday, Boris Johnson had a conversation with the leadership in Saudi Arabia about the current international energy crisis amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While no firm commitments were made, the UK Prime Minister told reporters that at the very least he was able to touch base with the Crown Prince. It’s a relevant effort that the Biden administration hasn’t been capable of pulling off, even in terms of establishing productive dialogue.
According to the Guardian, Johnson went to Saudi Arabia in a bid for them to speed up energy production. The outlet says No 10 intentionally made Johnson’s visit an "under the radar" affair with little media fanfare.
Johnson said his meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a success, if the goal was to convey the current predicament that England and other nations face when it comes to oil and energy.
While no concrete commitments were affirmed between the pair of leaders, the Prime Minister said there was "a lot of agreement that it is important to avoid inflation" and understanding the need to protect the world economy.
For British media and their political class, the visit created backlash as Johnson’s critics said it came off like a motion of international begging that failed to deliver results, even so.
The visit by Johnson comes amid a crisis in confidence for the Biden administration. The dilemma as conveyed by Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show" is that oil wealthy nations like Saudi Arabia aren’t answering the phone when America comes calling, for now.
"You can say what you want but this would have never happened to Donald Trump," Noah lamented.
In seeking to alleviate the pain at the pump, recent reporting by the Wall Street Journal said that the United States was snubbed by Saudi Arabia in terms of asking for help. The outlet later reported that the Saudis laid out an open invitation for a visit from China, in what’s described as an outreach effort to strengthen ties between the two countries.
The Biden administration this week continued their earlier strategy of blaming oil companies for not doing enough to bring gas prices back down. When the White House initially approached that line of response, oil companies were quick to hit back about how federal policy making has been a major obstacle for their industry.
Democrats in Congress appear to be following the President’s lead. This comes via the likes of Washington Rep. Kim Schrier who recently said in an interview that anyone blaming high gas prices on anything other than Russian President Vladimir Putin is "un-American."
Simultaneously, there’s chatter that progressive Democrats in the House will soon be seeking to call on President Joe Biden to ban oil drilling on federal lands, by decree of executive powers.
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