Iraq to support oil output freeze at OPEC meeting: PM

August 30, 2016 11:16 AM EDT

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks on Iraqi Police Day at a police academy in Baghdad, in this file picture taken January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Khalid al Mousily/Files


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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq would support a decision by OPEC to freeze oil output to prop up prices, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told a news conference in Baghdad on Tuesday.

"We are with freezing production at the OPEC meeting," he said, in the clearest indication yet about the position Iraq will support when the oil exporters' group meets next month.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are due to meet informally in Algeria on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF) on Sept. 26-28.

OPEC's second-largest producer, after Saudi Arabia, Iraq has previously sent contradictory signals about its position.

Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi last week said Iraq plans to play "a very active role" with other OPEC members to support prices while at the same time expanding its own output, which now stands at about 4.6 million barrels per day.

Iraq funds 95 percent of its budget through oil sales. Its economy is reeling under the double impact of lower crude prices and the cost of fighting Islamic State, the militant group that overran swathes of its territory two years ago.

(Reporting by Saif Hameed; writing by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by David Clarke)



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