Britain’s Johnson urges Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, minister says

LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, a senior minister said on Monday, following reports that Johnson is heading to the weight heavyweight from OPEC this week.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have so far rejected calls from the United States to use their spare production capacity to rein in creeping crude prices that threaten a global recession after the invasion of Ukraine by the Russia.

Saudi ties with the West are strained over a range of rights issues, including the war in Yemen and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

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The Times newspaper said Johnson would visit Saudi Arabia this week to try to persuade him to increase production, citing sources who said he had formed good ties with the country’s leaders.

When asked if it was fair to ask for Saudi Arabia’s support, just days after the execution of 81 men, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Britain had a candid relationship with the country, but that it was also “important to recognize, whether we like it or not, that Saudi Arabia is one of the largest oil producers in the world”.

“At the time of a major global energy crisis caused by this war in Europe, it is right for the Prime Minister and other world leaders to engage with Saudi Arabia and try to work together where it makes sense,” he told The Times. Radio.

Oil prices fell as much as $4 a barrel on Monday on hopes of diplomatic efforts to end the war in Ukraine, with Brent futures trading at $108.92 at 0752 GMT.

A spokesman for Johnson’s office in Downing Street declined to comment on reports that the prime minister will visit Saudi Arabia this week.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 81 men, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian, according to the Interior Ministry, in the kingdom’s largest mass execution in decades. Read more

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Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; written by Kate Holton; edited by Michael Holden and Nick Macfie

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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