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Iran Press TV

Russia-OPEC alliance impossible under Trump: Pompeo

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 7, 2019 10:51AM

Us Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says an alliance between Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will not happen as long as President Donald Trump is in office.

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Pompeo said Trump would never give his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the opportunity to forge an alliance with Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies to manage the global oil market.

"Vladimir Putin would love that, and it's not going to happen under President Trump," Pompeo said. "The partnerships we've developed throughout the Middle East are deep and strong."

The remarks follow an OPEC proposal that could formalize relationships between OPEC and a Moscow-led group of 10 nations, including some former Soviet republics and other countries like Mexico. The two groups agreed in December on a deal that sought to curb oil production to drive up prices.

The group has so far rejected constant calls by Trump to raise oil output in order to keep prices low.

This is while analysts blame Trump's own decision to sanction the oil exports of OPEC members Iran and Venezuela as a key contributor to the issue, as buyers fear that omitting the two top oil producers will result in a shortfall in global supply.

Arab NATO talks continue

Pompeo also said negotiations to form a NATO-type front against Iran in the Middle East moved ahead.

"I think we'll have a big number of countries announce that they want to be part of this in the not too distant future and we'll develop an outline that isn't reactive," he said.

Prior to Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017, reports said he was expected to lay out his vision for what White House officials called an "Arab NATO," comprised of six Persian Gulf Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan.

Known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), the alliance seeks to counter the growing influence of Iran to address Israeli-American concerns.

Informed sources said in July 2018 that Washington would play an organizing and supporting role while staying outside the anti-Iran alliance.

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