Trump talks to Saudi crown prince on Iran, oil

Trump shaking hands with the Crown Prince at the White House in March 2018.
Trump shaking hands with the Crown Prince at the White House in March 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump spoke on Friday (June 21) to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about Middle East stability and the oil market, the White House said, after tensions with Iran prompted a rise in oil prices.

"The two leaders discussed Saudi Arabia's critical role in ensuring stability in the Middle East and in the global oil market. They also discussed the threat posed by the Iranian regime's escalatory behavior," White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.

The phone call took place in the wake of Iran's shooting down of an unmanned US drone in the Gulf region, which prompted Trump to prepare but ultimately hold back from launching a retaliatory attack.

There was no word from the White House statement on whether Trump raised with the crown prince the death last October of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A 100-page report by the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, earlier this week accused Saudi Arabia of a "deliberate, premeditated execution" and said the crown prince should be investigated for it.