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International

UAE energy minister hints at

support for oil production cuts

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ energy minister said Sunday he does not think oil producing nations should relax the production cuts currently in place.

Suhail al-Mazrouei spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Saudi Arabia of the world’s major oil producers. His comments suggested there’s support within the OPEC oil cartel to extend the 1.2 million barrels a day cut in place since January.

“I don’t think, as the UAE, that today from the market conditions that we are seeing that relaxing the cut is the right measure,” he said.

He added that there have not been major oil shortages in the market from U.S. sanctions on Iranian and Venezuelan oil exports.

As part of the six-month deal reached in December, OPEC countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, were expected to cut production by 800,000 barrels a day while non-OPEC countries, including Russia, trim 400,000.

The meeting Sunday in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jiddah was aimed at monitoring and reporting conformity levels of countries to that agreement.

Rocket attack hits near US Embassy

in Baghdad’s Green Zone

BAGHDAD (AP) — A rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy, an Iraqi military spokesman said.

The apparent attack, which Iraq’s state-run news agency said did not cause any casualties, came amid heightened tensions across the Persian Gulf, after the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region earlier this month to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran. The U.S. also has ordered nonessential staff out of its diplomatic posts in Iraq.

It was the first such attack since September, when three mortar shells landed in an abandoned lot inside the Green Zone.

There was no immediate comment from the State Department or the U.S. Embassy in Iraq on Sunday’s attack.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack that took place after sunset when many Baghdad residents were indoors breaking their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Associated Press reporters on the east side of the Tigris River, opposite the Green Zone, heard an explosion, after which alert sirens sounded briefly in Baghdad.