Oil market improving: Falih

Saudi-Iraqi cooperation helped boost global oil prices


BAGHDAD — The global oil market is improving and stabilizing, Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih said in Baghdad on Saturday.

In a speech at the opening of the Baghdad International Exhibition, Falih praised the cooperation between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which he said had helped to boost global oil prices.

Speaking later to reporters, he said Saudi Arabia and Iraq were in agreement on the need to “fully comply” with cutbacks in crude output agreed by OPEC, Russia and several other producers to push up prices. “The market has improved a lot but has still some way to go,” he said.

Falih is the first Saudi official to make a public speech in Baghdad for several decades.

“The best example of the importance of cooperation between our two countries is the improvement and stability trend seen in the oil market,” said Falih, to applause from the audience of Iraqi ministers, senior officials and businessmen.

Saudi Arabia and Iraq are the largest and second largest producers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Falih called for increased economic cooperation between the two countries at all levels, saying Saudi Arabia is implementing measures to facilitate the flow of goods and services between the two countries.

A Saudi commercial airplane, operated by Flynas, arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday for the first time in 27 years.

In August, the two countries said they planned to open the Arar land border crossing for trade for the first time since 1990.

Saudi Export Development Authority is part of the Saudi pavilion at the Baghdad International Exhibition in its 44th session, with 60 companies from various industrial and service sectors.

Secretary-General of the Saudi Export Development Authority Saleh Al-Salami said that the Authority’s participation in the Baghdad International Exhibition comes from its role in encouraging Saudi products to reach the international markets.

A statement issued by the Saudi Export Development Authority said that its participation at the Baghdad International Exhibition this year under the slogan of ‘industries that transcend borders and bring peoples closer,’ is one of the most important participation that will contribute to the establishment of economic trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. — Agencies