Updated: Jul 27, 2022, 18:00 IST
US President Joe Biden recently visited Saudi Arabia at the culmination of his West Asia tour, which included Israel and Palestine. While his visit to Jeddah was billed as a “multilateral event” — where he met the rulers of Gulf Cooperation Council states, apart from leaders of Egypt, Iraq and Jordan — all the focus was on his meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS).
As Biden wrote in a Washington Post op-ed before the visit, the objective was to mitigate the effect of the Ukraine war on crude oil prices by encouraging Saudi Arabia to produce more. The petrol price at the pump has reached a US-wide average of $5 per gallon (3.785 litres). This is beyond the $4 per gallon price, long considered the maximum level the US customer could tolerate.