Rift with Saudis would result in high oil prices

US President Donald Trump says economic relations with Saudi Arabia will continue

Rift with Saudis would result in high oil prices

Saudi Arabia has played a crucial role in working closely with the U.S. to keep oil prices at reasonable levels, U.S. President Donald Trump said in a statement on Tuesday.

Claiming that lower oil prices are important worldwide, Trump said he is relying on Saudi Arabia to keep oil prices low after his administration resumed sanctions against Iran.

"Saudi Arabia, if we break [our relationship] with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof," Trump told reporters on Tuesday. 

"I’ve kept them down. They’ve helped me keep them down," he said. 

Oil prices plummeted by as much as 6.8 percent on Tuesday and further dropped after the White House released a statement about “standing with Saudi Arabia."

The statement comes at a very sensitive time when the global spotlight is focused on Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and the country’s de facto ruler, and on his potential role in the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Trump is also under pressure to punish Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's murder.

Brent oil traded at $63.62 per barrel at 07.11 GMT Tuesday while WTI saw prices of around $54.26 per barrel.

Trading of the international benchmark Brent began with prices of $67.17 per barrel at 05.51 GMT on Monday, while American benchmark WTI traded at $57.20 per barrel.  

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