US urges Saudis to ‘reassure’ oil and financial markets

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington March 17, 2020. — Reuters pic
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington March 17, 2020. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, March 25 — The United States said today it has urged Saudi Arabia to “reassure” oil and financial markets as the world grapples with a coronavirus pandemic that has paralysed major economies.

The appeal was made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephone conversation yesterday with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the State Department said.

Oil prices have plunged as economies grind to a halt due to the pandemic. But the decline has also been fuelled by a price war between the Saudis and Russia.

President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, has welcomed lower gasoline prices for US consumers but the United States is also worried about its shale oil producers.

“The Secretary stressed that as a leader of the G20 and an important energy leader, Saudi Arabia has a real opportunity to rise to the occasion and reassure global energy and financial markets when the world faces serious economic uncertainty,” the department said in a statement.

“We agreed all countries need to work together to contain the pandemic and stabilize energy markets,” Pompeo himself tweeted today.

Tomorrow, Saudi Arabia is hosting a virtual summit of G20 leaders on the health crisis sweeping the world because of the coronavirus.  — AFP

Related Articles