Two senior US officials visited Saudi Arabia for secret oil, Iran talks

Two senior US officials visited Saudi Arabia for secret oil, Iran talks
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Two senior US officials visited Saudi Arabia this week to discuss energy supplies and Iran with officials from the oil-rich Kingdom.
Brett McGurk and Amos Hochstein were the two US officials who went to the Gulf [source: Getty]

Two senior US officials visited Saudi Arabia this week for talks that included global energy supplies, Iran and other regional issues, the White House said on Thursday.

Meeting senior Saudi officials in Riyadh were Brett McGurk, Biden's top White House adviser on the Middle East, and Amos Hochstein, the State Department's energy envoy.

"I will confirm that Brett McGurk and Amos Hochstein were in the region to follow up on conversations on a range of issues including Iran’s destabilizing activities, ensuring stable global energy supplies and other regional issues," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

She said the trip was to "review engagement with Saudi Arabia on energy security" and that the US officials were not asking for an increase in Saudi oil exports.

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"Asking for oil is simply wrong. That’s the way that we see it and a misunderstanding of both the complexity of that issue as well as our multi-faceted discussions with the Saudis," she said.

She also said OPEC+ will make its own decision as it relates to oil and added, "We are in consultation with all relevant producers about market conditions including Saudi Arabia.”

Biden and his team have been considering making a stop in Saudi Arabia as well as Israel after he travels to summits in Germany and Spain in late June, sources say.