Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the importance of fostering unity among the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states to serve their common interests.
“The Non-Aligned Movement can play a great role in today's world and its members must promote their collective interests through unity and cooperation,” Rouhani said in a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in Margarita Island, Venezuela, late Friday.
The Iranian president, who arrived in Venezuela late on Friday to attend the 17th NAM summit and to hand over the movement’s rotating presidency to Venezuela, also expressed Tehran’s readiness to share its experience during the chairmanship of the group with Caracas.
Pointing to slumping global oil prices over a long period of time and its negative impacts on the international economy, Rouhani said, “The stability of the market, fair prices and just [output] quotas for oil producers will guarantee the interests of energy producers and consumers.”
Oil-exporting countries have been seeking a deal to cap production levels to prevent a further drop in global oil prices, which has recently seen a fall from a high of 147 dollars a barrel to a low of around 25 dollars.
Saudi Arabia has, however, repeatedly hindered such a deal by insisting that Iran agree to the same low production level as the one assigned for other countries.
Iran has time and again said that it is prepared to join an oil freeze plan but has argued that any such deal should take into account the special position of the country, which had been under sanctions impacting its oil production levels for a number of years.
After an important meeting with OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo in Tehran on September 6, Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said Tehran supports any potential measures aimed at restoring stability to global oil markets and added that most OPEC member states support oil prices between $50 and $60 per barrel.
Rouhani further said Iran is keen to cooperate with Venezuela in various economic and investment fields, adding that the two countries’ joint economic committee would play a positive role in strengthening relations.
The Venezuelan president, for his part, said Caracas is determined to boost cooperation with Tehran in all sectors and make joint ventures in industrial, infrastructural and energy spheres.
Maduro said plunging oil prices have adversely affected oil-producing countries and called for efforts to restore stability to the market through unity.