The move by OPEC+ to decrease oil production was met with outrage in Washington.
The US has reportedly cancelled a meeting with Saudi Arabia and the GCC that was scheduled to take place this month amid increasings tensions between Washington and Riyadh.
Steve Clemons, Founding Editor at Large at American news platform Semafor, tweeted on Tuesday that the meetings have been cancelled, citing contents of a letter it obtained. The letter was reportedly written by the US Embassy to Riyadh.
“The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretariat and hereby informs the Gulf Cooperation Council that United States officials will not be able to participate in the planned meetings,” read the letter from 7 October, as quoted by Clemons.
The meeting was scheduled to take place on 17 October between the US-GCC Working Group on Iran, focusing on integrated air and missile defence.
The latest developments came following a report by Semafor that said the White House was looking into the possibility of cancelling the meeting.
US President Joe Biden was in Saudi Arabia in July this year for a GCC+3 meeting, attended by heads of states of the Gulf bloc plus Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
Around the time of the meeting, reports claimed that the US sought to create a Middle East alliance involving Israel. Those reports were then dismissed by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.
“There is no such thing as an Arab NATO and this is not on the table,” said the Saudi official following the Jeddah Security and Development Summit
Analysts had previously dismissed a possible anti-Iran alliance, especially one that includes the Zionist state, given that some members in the region have yet to normalise with Israel.
Meanwhile, ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran have appeared to warm after the two countries held various rounds of talks in Baghdad. The UAE reinstated its envoy to Iran after it downgraded its ties with Tehran in 2016.
Qatar has repeatedly stressed the importance of holding a regional dialogue with Iran and settling their differences.
The reported cancellation of the meeting comes amid rising tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia, with Washington officials stating they would “review” their relationship with Riyadh.
This came days after Opec+ decided to decrease its production of oil by two million barrels per day in an attempt to stabilise the market.
The move was then met with outrage in Washington, with oil prices rising in the US by at least 10 cents a gallon.
Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby said Biden feels that Washington needs to re-evaluate its ties with Riyadh.
“Certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that’s where he is, and he’s willing to work with Congress to think through what that relationship ought to look like going forward,” said Kirby.
On Monday, Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez said Washington “must immediately freeze all aspects” of cooperation with Riyadh.
“The United States must immediately freeze all aspects of our cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including any arms sales and security cooperation beyond what is absolutely necessary to defend US personnel and interests,” said Menendez in a statement.