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Obama says US will not stop import of Saudi oil in "immediate future"

WASHINGTON, May 29 (KUNA) -- Ahead of his stop in Riyadh next week, US President Barack Obama said late on Thursday that the United States is not going to stop its import of Saudi oil in the immediate future.
"In those discussions I will be very honest with Saudi King Abdullah with whom I have developed a good relationship, indicating to him that we are not going to be eliminating our need for oil imports in the immediate future," said Obama while describing Saudi Arabia as an "important strategic partner." "That is not our goal. What our goal has to be is to advance the clean energy solutions in this country that can strengthen our economy, put people back to work, and diversify our energy sources," he added in brief remarks after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
One of Obama's presidential campaign promises was to curb US dependency on foreign oil and Obama seems to assure Saudi leadership he does not intend to follow on this goal anytime soon but suggested a long term energy strategy.
"I do not think that it is in Saudi Arabia's interests or our interests to have a situation in which our economy is dependent, or better yet, is disrupted constantly by huge spikes in energy prices. And it is in nobody's interest, internationally, for us to continue to be so heavily dependent on fossil fuels that we continue to create the greenhouse gases that threaten the planet," said Obama.
He pointed out that Saudis "make significant investments both in their own country and outside of their country in clean energy because they recognize that we have a finite supply of oil. There are going to be a whole host of countries like China and India that have huge populations, need to develop rapidly." "If everybody is dependent solely on oil as opposed to energy sources like wind and solar, if we are not able to figure out ways to sequester carbon and that would allow us to use coal in a non-polluting way, if we do not diversify our energy sources, then all of us are going to be in trouble," concluded Obama. (end) jm.ema KUNA 290900 May 09NNNN