RIYADH, (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah shared some common views on the oil market after prices reached record highs, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday.
The official gave no further details about the talks on Friday between Cheney and the Saudi king, a U.S. ally and leader of the world’s top oil exporter.
“There was, I think, a lot of commonality in their assessment about the structural problems confronted by the global energy market now and some discussion of probably the way forward, how we work together to try to stabilise the market, what can be done, and what could be done shorter term,” the U.S. official told reporters travelling with Cheney.
The source said Cheney and King Abdullah also talked about what needed to be done “over the medium to longer term”. “The vice-president had a very thorough opportunity to discuss the situation in the energy market with the king and his petroleum minister,” the official said.
Oil prices have risen to record highs above $100 a barrel because investors have piled into commodities as the value of the U.S. dollar has sharply fallen. The price fell below $100 on Thursday on fears of a U.S. economic slowdown.
Cheney’s trip follows a visit to Saudi Arabia by President George W. Bush, who in January called for crude oil exporters’ group OPEC to increase production.
Cheney and King Abdullah also discussed Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israeli-Palestinian issues, the official said.
Before the talks, U.S. officials said Cheney would review his trips in the last few days to Iraq and Afghanistan during his talks with Abdullah.
The United States wants Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies to establish a diplomatic presence in Iraq and help reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.
Cheney was due to leave Saudi Arabia later on Saturday for Israel.