Venezuela to use Non-Aligned summit to push oil consensus

But overall turnout could be a record low for the Cold War-era group

Gulf News

Caracas: Venezuela will use this weekend’s Non-Aligned Movement summit to meet fellow oil producers and gather support for a global deal to strengthen oil prices at a gathering in Algeria this month, Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino said on Friday.

“Obviously we are going to use this meeting to build consensus,” Del Pino told reporters, saying leaders from Opec nations from the Gulf to Ecuador would be present at the 120-nation bloc’s meeting on Margarita island.

“The focus for the consensus is Algeria, where we hope to reach important stabilisation accords to obtain a fair price for hydrocarbons that all producer countries are seeking,” he said in comments at a pro-government march carried on state television.

Algeria is hosting meetings of the International Energy Forum and Opec on September 26-28.

Price hawk Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, has been one of the countries worst hit by the fall in crude prices, which has left its economy in crisis.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has flown into Margarita for the meeting on Saturday on Sunday, where Latin American leftist leaders from Bolivia and Ecuador are also expected. But overall turnout could be a record low for the Cold War-era group.

Before departing from Quito, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa ratified the planned oil producers’ discussion, saying delegates from his country, Iran, Algeria, Nigeria and Venezuela would be talking.

“The oil price keeps falling ... this hurts us all,” he told reporters. “So we are going to talk in Margarita with bilateral and multilateral meetings between Opec members and non-Opec members who are important producers and exporters.”

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