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U.S. President Joe Biden, speaks during an arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 13, 2022.

U.S. President Joe Biden, speaks during an arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 13, 2022. (Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg)

President Biden is starting to rethink what the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia should look like after last week's announcement by a coalition of oil-producing nations led by the kingdom that it will slash oil production, a move Biden had warned would push up gas prices worldwide and bolster Russia in its war against Ukraine, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.

"I think the president's been very clear that this is a relationship that we need to continue to reevaluate, that we need to be willing to revisit," White House spokesman John Kirby said on CNN, reiterating Biden's disappointment in the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners.

"Certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that's where he is," Kirby said. "And he's willing to work with Congress to think through what that relationship ought to look like going forward."

Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator for the National Security Council at the White House, said he had no announcements to make about where that process would lead, but said U.S. officials, including Biden, will "think about what the right relationship with Saudi Arabia needs to be going forward."

Asked about a timetable, Kirby said, "I think the timeline is now, and I think he's going to be willing to start to have those conversations right away."

Biden administration officials had launched an extraordinary effort to press Saudi Arabia to produce more oil to compensate for the global shortage caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with the president personally visiting Saudi leaders in a trip to Jiddah in July. With last week's announcement, Saudi Arabia rejected those entreaties, at least in part.

Officials had hoped that Biden's trip to the kingdom would improve the Saudi relationship across a range of issues, including the global supply of oil.

The cut in oil production helps Russian President Vladimir Putin as he wages war on Ukraine and was seen as a possible trigger to increasing gas prices in the United States weeks before the midterm elections, when Democrats' slim majorities in the House and Senate are in jeopardy.

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