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Iran Press TV

Saudi Arabia says 'not prepared' to cut oil output

Iran Press TV

Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:8PM

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says his country is 'not prepared' to cut oil production to help shore up extremely low prices.

'If other producers want to limit or agree to a freeze in terms of additional production that may have an impact on the market but Saudi Arabia is not prepared to cut production,' Jubeir said in an interview with AFP on Thursday.

The comments come days after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to freeze oil output at near-record levels if other major producers do the same. The agreement was announced following a meeting between Russian and Saudi energy ministers in the Qatari capital of Doha to discuss the global oil market.

'The oil issue will be determined by supply and demand and by market forces. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia will protect its market share and we have said so,' the Saudi minister added in the interview.

Oil prices have fallen around 70 percent since mid-2014 due to oversupply, low demand and slowing economies.

Saudi Arabia has insisted that it will not cut production to tackle the global glut, arguing that it would simply be losing market share unless its rivals also agreed to reduce supplies.

Military aggression against Yemen

In the interview, the Saudi foreign minister also touched on his country's military aggression against Yemen, saying it will continue until the country's fugitive government is fully reinstated.

Jubeir dismissed remarks that Saudi Arabia was mired in the Yemeni conflict and said, 'A very, very small part of our total military is involved in Yemen and it is not bogged down.'

Saudi Arabia began its military campaign against Yemen in late March 2015. The strikes are meant to restore power to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a strong ally of Riyadh.

Nearly 8,300 people, among them over 2,230 children, have reportedly been killed and over 16,000 others injured since the onset of the campaign. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country's infrastructure.

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