(Adds more Obama quotes, details throughout)
By Caren Bohan
WASHINGTON May 28 U.S. President Barack Obama
said on Thursday he would discuss oil costs when he meets with
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah next week and plans to say that
big price rises are not in Riyadh's interests.
"I don't think it's in Saudi Arabia's interests to have a
situation in which our economy is dependent -- or disrupted
constantly -- by huge spike in energy prices," Obama said when
asked by a reporter what his message would be during his June 3
visit to Saudi Arabia.
Obama spoke to reporters after a meeting with visiting
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Obama, who also met with Abdullah in April on the sidelines
of the London G20 meeting, said the United States and Saudi
Arabia had both a "commercial relationship as well as a
Obama said he also wanted to make the point that it is not
in the world's interests for the United States to be so
dependent on fossil fuels because of their impact on global
"I'll be very honest with King Abdullah, with whom I've
developed a good relationship, indicating to him that we're not
going to be eliminating our need for oil imports in the
immediate future," he said.
"That's not our goal," Obama added, but he said his
administration was committed to diversifying its energy
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Wednesday he
believed the global economy had strengthened enough to cope
with oil at $75-$80 a barrel. He attributed the recent rises in
oil prices to economic optimism.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, asked for reaction to
Naimi's comment, said Obama was "concerned about anything that
raises the cost of living in a fragile economic time."
(Reporting by Caren Bohan; editing by Mohammad Zargham)