UAE warns Opec on cuts

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The Independent Online
ABU DHABI (AFP) - The United Arab Emirates yesterday urged Opec to agree on production cuts to raise sagging oil prices and warned that failure to reach a deal may mean members will leave the cartel.

On the eve of an Opec meeting in Vienna, the UAE was believed to be prepared to back any agreement to reduce output, provided it covered all members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Failure to agree may push the oil price down by dollars 2 a barrel.

Opec's 12 oil ministers will discuss proposals to reduce production by at least 1 million barrels per day to prop up prices that have declined by nearly 20 per cent since late last year.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, and its Gulf partners were expected to back an Opec deal but it is unlikely that Kuwait, still recovering from the Iraqi occupation, would cut output.

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