Oil price fall, Syrian crisis focus of Saudi-Russia talks

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov before their meeting in Moscow on Friday.

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov before their meeting in Moscow on Friday.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to oil and energy cooperation, tackling Middle East conflicts and resolving negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program at a meeting between the two nations’ foreign ministers on Friday.

The two countries stressed the need to settle the Syrian crisis based on the Geneva 1 agreement focusing on preserving the territorial integrity of that country, said a joint communiqué issued after the meeting between Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

The two ministers also discussed regional and international issues including the conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Palestine, and international and regional efforts to stamp out terrorism.

The two leaders stressed bilateral cooperation under the Joint Economic Committee to boost mutual growth. The countries are two of the world’s largest energy producers.

Speaking after his talks with Prince Saud, Lavrov said there should be no move to cut global oil production.

He said both Russia and Saudi Arabia did not want oil production targets to be affected by “political or geopolitical designs.”

He said Russia and Saudi Arabia believe that prices should be determined by market demand.

Russia’s energy minister, Alexander Novak, said a production cut would be difficult. “Our budget is very dependent on oil revenues. And we don’t have the technology, like Saudi Arabia, to quickly reduce or increase our production,” he told Russian news agencies.

“But this question is under discussion, we are working within the government to understand whether such methods are feasible.”

Lavrov’s meeting with the Saudi minister came ahead of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) conference on Nov. 27, when members of the 12-nation body will discuss global production levels.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said that “all the elements” were in place to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. He called for a compromise at the Vienna talks.

 
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