U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Tuesday, called on the Sunni kingdom to “reassure global energy and financial markets” amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Pompeo’s comments came amid the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has fueled the global economic downturn. The Chinese coronavirus pandemic has reportedly exacerbated the impact of the oil war on the economy, and vice versa.
Pompeo “stressed that as a leader of the G20 and an important energy leader, Saudi Arabia has a real opportunity to rise to the occasion and reassure global energy and financial markets when the world faces serious economic uncertainty,” a State Department readout of the secretary’s conversation with MBS revealed.
The secretary and the Sunni kingdom’s crown prince “expressed their deep concern over COVID-19 [coronavirus illness] and the need for all countries to work together to contain the pandemic,” the readout added.
Their conversation primarily focused on maintaining stability in energy markets across the world amid the global response.
Oil prices have more than halved since climbing to a peak in January, with analysts warning crude futures could soon plunge into the teens over the coming weeks.
It comes as the coronavirus pandemic continues to crush oil demand worldwide and with no end in sight to the ongoing price war between Riyadh and Moscow.
The oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia already crashed the U.S. stock market and upended global financial markets. Combined with the impact of the coronavirus, the oil war can have a devastating effect on the U.S. and global economy.
Various countries, including the top two economies of the world, the United States and China, almost completely shut down their financial activities in a bid to slow down the spread of the fatal and highly contagious coronavirus.
In recent days, China has indicated that it is ready to open its economy back up, despite widespread reports that coronavirus infections continue, unaccounted for, in central Hubei province, where the outbreak originated.
U.S. President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, said he wants to open up America’s economy by Easter.
Other countries have completely closed down their borders, a move that will have a devastating impact on the global economy.