Which World Leaders Didn’t Take Biden’s Calls?
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2020: COVID-19 declared a pandemic by the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, with 121,564 cases worldwide and 4,373 deaths.
Leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) declined to take phone calls with President Joe Biden as the attack on Ukraine intensified.
“There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen,” a U.S. official told The Wall Street Journal regarding a call between Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “It was part of turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil].”
Officials said UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also declined a call from Biden.
U.S. relations with the two Gulf countries have been strained over the Biden administration’s lack of support in the war in Yemen and the revived negotiations concerning the Iran nuclear deal, officials said.
Additionally, Saudi Arabia has been pushing for legal immunity in the U.S. for Crown Prince Mohammed, who is accused of killing a journalist in 2018.
One U.S. official said they have worked with the two countries to strengthen their defenses amid concerns over Iran.
The White House is potentially looking at Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela for oil talks as it cuts off Russian oil imports.
The Journal noted that Saudi Arabia and the UAE both said they will not produce more oil than agreed on by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.