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President Biden makes first presidential visit to Middle East

Yahoo Finance reporter Jen Schonberger breaks down President Biden's latest comments amid his trip to the Middle East, as he stated he wouldn't speak with the Saudis about increasing oil production.

Video transcript

SEANA SMITH: Well, President Biden is on the road speaking to G7 and NATO leaders today in Europe ahead of his first presidential visit to the Middle East next month, including Saudi Arabia. Yahoo Finance's Jennifer Schonberger joins us now with the latest from DC. Jen.

JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: Good afternoon, Seana. President Biden, speaking to reporters at a press conference concluding that NATO's summit this morning, said he would not individually ask Saudi Arabia to increase oil output ahead of his forthcoming visit there. Instead, he would encourage all Gulf states to raise production.

JOE BIDEN: No, I'm not going to ask. I'm going to ask-- all the Gulf states are meeting. I've indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not to the Saudis particularly. And I think we're going to-- I hope we see them in their own interests concluding that makes sense to do.

JENNIFER SCHONBERGER: Thursday, OPEC-plus, the oil international cartel effectively led by Saudi Arabia, met and decided not to further increase oil production, but would keep plans as previously discussed. They will meet again on August 3.

Now, Biden's comments come as high gas prices hover near record highs in the US, with the national average price of a gallon topping $5 for the first time earlier this month. When asked how long it's fair to expect American drivers to pay a premium because of the war in Ukraine, Biden said, quote, "as long as it takes. Russia cannot in fact beat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine." Now, the price of crude oil is up over 40% this year and up 20% since Russia invaded Ukraine. Guys.

SEANA SMITH: Jennifer, thanks so much for the latest on that.

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