US President Donald Trump said close ally Saudi Arabia and its king would not last "for two weeks" without US military support at a rally in MS on Tuesday. While the kingdom's ties with the US have improved under Trump, Tuesday's remarks were unusually harsh and appeared to question the stability of a monarchy in power since the 1930s.
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported that the pair discussed efforts to maintain supplies to ensure the stability of the oil market and the growth of the global economy. Trump said, in his -N General Assembly speech in NY last month, that OPEC members were ripping off the rest of the world. You might not be there for two weeks without us. But I said, 'King, we're protecting you. Would you say they are rich?
Criticizing America's longstanding military relationships with allies has been a hallmark of Mr. Trump's presidential campaign and his time in office.
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"If we look at the two countries' rise of production in comparison to their commitments in the Declaration of Cooperation, we see Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have had respectively a 346,000 and 250,000 BPD output rise, and this production rise is a violation to the (OPEC) agreement on output cut", Kazempour Ardebili said.
However, Mr. Trump's comments on Saudi Arabia implied the kingdom's Al Saud monarchy, which oversees the holiest sites in Islam, would collapse without American military support.
Trump has repeatedly vaunted the might of the USA military and the country's role as the "protector".
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The reporter then says, "I'm sorry?" to which he answers, "No, go ahead". "You know what? You've really had enough", Trump said. However, the new deal was overshadowed by Trump's comment aimed toward a female reporter after opening the floor to questions.
The comments come just days after Trump complained that Washington was "subsidising" Saudi Arabia's military, echoing similar jibes at European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance. A barrel of oil now costs about $75, continuing a steady increase over the past year. "But we don't get what we should be getting", he said at a rally in West Virginia.
The US military was stationed in Saudi Arabia from the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1990 to 2003, when then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced pullout.
He has also pressed other U.S. allies, such as Japan, South Korea and Germany, to take more of the financial burden of their defence.
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