The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have a close relationship with a bond “that goes far beyond energy,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said.
The minister told graduates during his commencement speech at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that “We seek together a world of greater understanding, mutual tolerance, and respect for human dignity and personal interdependence.”
Al-Naimi, who said he grew up as a nomadic Bedouin, studied geology and graduated from Lehigh in 1962. The minister said he was one of a very few Saudis who studied in the U.S., when he came to Lehigh in 1959. Now, there are thousands, he said.
“I hope my visit here today is a further sign of that enduring bond between our two peoples,” he said.
Al-Naimi, who will represent OPEC’s biggest oil producer when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets next month in Vienna, has said in recent weeks that prices are too high given that there is no lack of supply. Brent crude should be at around $100 a barrel, he said in Adelaide, Australia, on May 13.
Brent traded at $108.29 at 12:08 p.m. today on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.