Saudi Arabia, Russia focus on rebalancing oil markets

King Salman holds talks with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 15 February 2018
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Saudi Arabia, Russia focus on rebalancing oil markets

RIYADH: Rebalancing oil markets was high on the agenda when King Salman and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak held official talks on Wednesday exploring aspects of cooperation between their two countries.
The talks at Al-Yamamah Palace addressed bilateral relations and cooperation in the fields of energy, especially in achieving the stability of the global oil markets through the leadership of producing countries to reduce the surplus from world oil stocks.
King Salman also made a telephone call to Russian President Vladimir Putin. They reviewed bilateral and distinct relations between the two countries in addition to ways of developing them.
The two leaders also discussed regional and international issues, including the Syrian crisis. They affirmed the importance of exerting efforts to reach a political solution and end the suffering of the Syrian people.
Saudi Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid Al-Falih, in the presence of a number of energy ministers and experts in climate change from around the world, inaugurated the eighth session of the International Energy Agency, the World Energy Forum, and OPEC in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Topics for discussion included the future prospects of energy, alternative energy, efforts to improve oil markets, the recovery of prices and the return of markets to normal, as well as coordination in international policies on climate change, sources of investment in infrastructure and special technologies of clean hydrocarbon materials.
Al-Falih welcomed Novak as well as the Moroccan politician Aziz Rabbah. He noted that as the Kingdom and Russia were the world’s largest oil producers, and due to the economic, political and strategic importance of oil to the two countries, it was necessary to continue joint efforts and cooperation. Al-Falih praised the efforts of the Secretary-General of the International Energy Forum, Dr. Sun Xiancheng, and his team for their work, and expressed the Kingdom’s pride that Riyadh was the headquarters of this forum, which represents a gateway for cooperation and exchange of information between producers and consumers.
The presence of the three organizations — International Energy Agency, the International Energy Forum and OPEC — would help achieve the objective of the conference, he said.
On the sidelines of the conference, Al-Falih met with Novak to enhance strategic partnership relations through the Saudi-Russian Joint Committee and continued cooperation through the Vienna Convention, bringing together 24 countries and contributing to a relative recovery of the oil markets.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”