RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Sunday that all bets would be off should Iran get an operational nuclear weapon, with Gulf states acting to shore up their security.
“If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets are off,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan said in an on-stage interview at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi.
“We are in a very dangerous space in the region...you can expect that regional states will certainly look towards how they can ensure their own security,” he said.
Speaking about the GCC-China Summit and the Arab-China Summit that took place on Friday, Prince Faisal said continuing to increase cooperation between the Kingdom and China is “incredibly important.”
“China is the main trade partner for not just Saudi Arabia but I believe for almost all of the Arab world, and having this dialogue with the second largest economy in the world is for us critically important as we continue to build our partnerships in the global environment in a way that fosters the opportunities for growth and prosperity for all,” he said.
He added that the Kingdom’s foreign policy was driven firstly by the need to build sustainable prosperity for the Saudi people, secondly for the people in the region, and thirdly for the people of the world.
“We look for every opportunity to build on that goal. So if there is an opportunity to work with a partner on the global stage to further our ability to strengthen our economic programs or social programs, to strengthen our region, and that can happen only through cooperation, we will follow those avenues,” the foreign minister said.
Speaking about the OPEC+ alliance’s decision in October to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day, Prince Faisal said Saudi Arabia, OPEC, and OPEC+ have a “very consistent policy” to maintain a stable market.
“We have worked very, very hard to ensure market stability in very difficult times. If we go back to 2019-20, when we had COVID-19, we had a serious disruption in the oil markets, we saw prices in some areas go to negative which disrupted investment in the production of energy, which led to constraints on the markets.
“We intervened, we brought markets back into balance, we continue to do that and if you look at the oil market compared to the gas market, for instance, compared to coal markets, whether in Europe or elsewhere, you will see that oil has been relatively stable compared to all other sources of energy, even renewable energy. And why is that? Because we have been actively engaged in maintaining stability in the market,” Prince Faisal said.
The Kingdom’s foreign minister said the decision to cut oil production was “entirely justified.”
“I think we can now see given where prices are that that decision was entirely justified,” he said.