Business & Finance

Saudi says no plans for embargo despite Khashoggi row

Moscow | Saudi Arabia said on Monday it had no plans to repeat its harsh 1973 oil embargo, even as relations with the West sour following the killing of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.

Riyadh, long the world’s biggest oil producer, hiked prices sharply during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, setting off a wave of inflation that plunged developed economies into years of crisis.

Saudi Oil Minister Khaled al-Faleh told the TASS news agency that “there is no intention” of repeating the events of 1973.

“Saudi Arabia is a completely responsible country. For decades, we have used our oil (production) policy as a responsible economic tool and we have kept it apart from politics,” Faleh was quoted as telling TASS in an interview in Riyadh.

“If oil prices were to rise too much, that would slow the global economy and set off a global recession.

“Saudi Arabia has been coherent in its policy. We work to stabilise global markets and to facilitate global economic growth,” he added.

Riyadh’s changing accounts of what happened to Khashoggi, an insider turned critic of the government, have run into increasing western scepticism, with even firm ally US President Donald Trump saying the government had lied about what happened.

In its latest version, the government conceded that Khashoggi was killed by mistake in its Istanbul consulate but this only sparked more calls for a complete and transparent investigation, coupled with the threat of sanctions.

“This incident will pass,” al-Faleh forecast.

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