UK PM Boris Johnson Travels to UAE and Saudi for Oil Diplomacy

    Photo: Pool [via The New York Times]

    The Facts

    • UK PM Boris Johnson met with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in Riyadh on Wed., after meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) in the UAE earlier in the day.

    • He is attempting to strengthen ties with the Gulf countries as part of an ongoing effort to wean London's dependency on Russian oil, as the invasion of Ukraine has seen oil prices fluctuate between $100 and $140 per barrel in recent weeks.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Johnson has brought shame on himself and his country by cosying-up to a nation known to be human rights offender. His visit comes days after an illegal mass execution. There are other more sustainable solutions to the energy crisis facing the UK.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Although the best solution in the medium term is for the West to develop its own energy resources, there isn't the time in the current crisis for this to fill the energy gap created by Russian sanctions. Persuading the Saudis to provide enough oil to meet the UK's demands is the lesser of two evils.

    Establishment split



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