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Obama spoke with Saudi King Abdullah on Thursday: White House
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah on Thursday, the White House said, but gave no details of what subjects their conversation touched upon.
Washington is watching the oil markets closely and is also concerned about escalating violence in Syria, where Saudi Arabia has been an outspoken supporter of the opposition, which is fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"The two leaders reaffirmed the strong and enduring bilateral relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and discussed a range of issues of mutual interest as part of their ongoing consultations," the White House said in a short statement, which officials declined to expand upon.
Obama has cited high gasoline prices as one of the headwinds holding back the U.S. economy, although energy costs have eased from levels earlier in the year.
Saudi Arabia has played a role in taking the steam out of the oil market, pumping crude at 10.1 million barrels per day in recent months, the highest level in decades, which has helped push U.S. oil prices down by about $20 to about $84 a barrel.
The price drop has incensed Saudi Arabia's fellow OPEC members Iran and Iraq, who are urging the kingdom to cut production. On Thursday, OPEC decided at a meeting in Vienna to keep output targets steady.
(Reporting by Alister Bull and Timothy Gardner; Editing by Jackie Frank)
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