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Russian, Saudi foreign ministers meet in Riyadh

Russia and Saudi Arabia will continue to coordinate their position to avoid disturbances in oil markets, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a news conference in Riyadh following the meeting with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah Al Saud, Lavrov said the current oil prices more or less reflect the balance between interests of oil producers and consumers.

The minister said he did not see any threats that could undermine the Russian-Saudi “stable and long-term” cooperation in this area.

“As for the impact of our actions not only on the steady stabilization and upward trend of world oil prices but also on the capabilities of other producers, whose costs are more significant than those of OPEC+, if such a trend manifests itself, we will find an opportunity to coordinate our actions in such a way to ensure a balance of interests of both producers and consumers.

“The current price level more or less reflects this balance. We will strive to make sure that the global economy does not suffer from any serious jumps and falls [in oil prices],” he said.

For his part, the Saudi minister said his country and Russia are “keen on providing fair prices for oil producers and consumers,” and that the two countries “have good coordination in this regard.”

“We will continue to do what is necessary to support the interests of the international community,” he said.

Riyadh calls on int’l community to make Houthi join peace process

Asked about Houthi attacks on the Saudi energy infrastructure and Riyadh’s response, Al Saud said Houthis were not only targeting Saudi Arabia “but the international economic system.”

“Of course it needs a strong stance from the international community to confront those who are responsible for these attacks. And there is no doubt that we need to consolidate all of our efforts to reach a solution, to stop the fire in Yemen,” he said.

Al Saud also said Riyadh’s top priority in Yemen is to achieve a cease-fire, and that cannot be implemented because the Houthi militia refrains from adhering to agreements.

“The international community has a lot of responsibility to impose pressure on Houthis to turn them to the path of a political solution and to stop the attacks. This will help transfer Yemen into a peaceful state, enter a new stage of stability and security,” he noted.

For his part, Lavrov said all parties must respect international humanitarian law, according to which attacks on civilian infrastructure that may result in civilian casualties are unacceptable.

“This is our position from the very beginning. I expect that all parties are aware of the need for a cessation of hostilities and will support the efforts of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths,” he said.

Lavrov recalled that the US has recently removed the Houthi Ansar Allah group from the list of terrorist organizations so that it could be a part of the inclusive peace process.

“The US has decided to remove Ansar Allah from the list of terrorist organizations. I hope that this signal was read correctly, it is not a carte blanche for the continuation of violent actions, it is an indication that they should become part of an inclusive process,” he said.

In the past week, the Houthi rebel group in Yemen intensified attacks against the oil-rich kingdom.

On Sunday, the coalition said it had shot down 12 booby-trapped drones and two ballistic missiles fired by the group towards Saudi territories.

The rebel movement regularly announces rocket and drone attacks on Saudi territories, saying they are a reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen.

Yemen has been wracked by violence and instability since 2014, when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

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