Boris Johnson has said Saudi Arabia “understands” the need to help protect the globe from current energy price spikes, after trying to get the country to increase its production of oil.
Johnson said after his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman today that “I think there was an understanding of the need to ensure stability in global oil markets and gas markets, and the need to avoid damaging price spikes”.
Johnson visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to try and convince them to increase oil production and ease the global surge in energy prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The indication after the meeting was that neither country gave explicit agreements to do so.
“A strong UK economy is very much in the interest of the oil producing countries as well,” Johnson said.
The Prime Minister said he also brought up the two countries’ human rights records, after criticism for even making the visits today.
Bin Salman was accused of sanctioning the brutal murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and last weekend his regime oversaw the execution of 81 people.
Johnson said he “raised human rights as I’m sure you would expect”, while also adding that “things are changing in Saudi Arabia”.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused Johnson of “going cap in hand from dictator to dictator” as a part of his “slapdash” approach to trying to ease the energy crisis.