We're not satisfied yet with markets, Saudi oil minister says

We're not satisfied yet with markets, Saudi oil minister says

With diplomatic alliances shifting across the Middle East, Moscow hopes that King Salman's historic four-day visit will show that Moscow can forge close alliances with all the key Middle East players, including Turkey, Iran and now Saudi, the Guardian reports.

On Thursday, Putin received the monarch in the gold-decorated St. Andrew Hall, one of the grandest spaces in the Kremlin, attended by soldiers in ceremonial dress and with an orchestra playing the two countries' national anthems.

On the political front, there was no sign of any substantial breakthrough on the issues that divide Moscow and Riyadh, including the fact that they back rival sides in Syria's civil war. The deal, since extended to March 31, 2018, was aimed at reducing a global oil glut that had seen crude prices plummet from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to a 13-year low of under $30 last year.

The countries also moved to deepen ties in the energy sector, with Russian firm Sibur agreeing to joint oil-refining projects with Saudi Aramco.

"I am sure, even if we do not ask, we will be given even more support to boost Venezuela's defense capacity and sovereignty", said Maduro, speaking at an energy forum in Moscow.

"Is there anything in the world that stays unchanged?"

"Saudi Arabia needs to start rethinking its foreign policy and looking for friends and looking for people they can talk to and Russian Federation is one of those countries", he said.

OPEC and some other non-member producers, including Russian Federation, have agreed to cut crude output which has helped prop up oil prices.

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The Saudi monarch's visit comes after decades of strained relations.

During the meeting, the Saudi king advocated the resolution of the crisis in Syria in accordance with the June 2012 Geneva Communique on the creation of a transition government with members of the Bashar Al Assad government and the opposition that guaranteed the territorial integrity of Syria.

Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation are heavily dependent on oil exports and the plunge of the price of crude that began in 2014 lashed both of their economies.

"This partnership between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia has catalyzed cooperation of an unprecedented coalition of 24 countries (OPEC and non-OPEC)".

The US is still Saudi Arabia's top weapons supplier and an important ally, but yesterday's deals highlighted Russia's growing influence in the Middle East.

Putin also insisted that Iran is complying with a nuclear agreement the U.S., Russian Federation and other world powers agreed to in 2015 - Trump may decertify the Iran deal - and warned that Trump's fiery rhetoric toward North Korea is leading to a "very unsafe end".

Tensions have steadily risen between the US and Russian Federation even since Trump took office early this year.

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