Cheney, King Abdullah discuss energy market
Riyadh, March 22, 2008
US Vice President Dick Cheney and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah discussed the global energy market and had "a lot of commonality" in their assessment of the issues.
"There was I think a lot of commonality in their assessment about the structural problems confronted by the global energy market now and some discussion of probably the way forward, how we work together to try to stabilise the market, what can be done, and what could be done shorter term," a senior US official told reporters travelling with Cheney.
The source said Cheney and King Abdullah also talked about what needed to be done "over the medium to longer term".
Oil prices have risen in recent weeks to record highs above $100 a barrel because investors have piled into commodities as the value of the US dollar has sharply fallen. The price fell below $100 on Thursday on fears of a US economic slowdown.
Cheney's trip follows a visit to Saudi Arabia by President George W. Bush, who in January called for crude oil exporters' group Opec to increase production.
Saudi Arabia, a US ally, is the world's top oil exporter and the only Opec member that can easily add significant amounts of extra oil to the market.
"They are going to build off of the president's discussions here clearly. They will review those discussions. They will review a broad agenda of diplomatic and security issues as well as where we are now in the global energy market," Hannah said.
Cheney will also review his trips in the last few days to Iraq and Afghanistan during his talks with Abdullah at the king's farm on the outskirts of Riyadh.
Cheney, who flew into Riyadh from Oman with his wife Lynne and daughter Liz, arrived at the king's farm, where he was greeted by Abdullah and Saudi aides carrying incense.
"Mr Vice President, we've been friends for a very long time," Abdullah said before awarding Cheney a high Saudi award with a green sash and a medal.
While they will cover a broad range of issues, energy will be a key topic, with high oil prices hurting the US economy.
"They will have ample discussions about both the problems that exist in the market, whether they, how they lend themselves to various kinds of solutions," Hannah said.-Reuters