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OPEC marks 5th anniversary of landmark ‘Vienna Agreement’

VIENNA, 30th November, 2021 (WAM) — The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) today marks the 5th anniversary of the historic ‘Vienna Agreement’ reached at the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference held on 30 November 2016 in Vienna, Austria.

The milestone meeting built on the successful ‘Algiers Accord’, reached in Algiers, Algeria, on 28 September 2016 at the 170th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the OPEC Conference and paved the way for the historic Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) between OPEC Member Countries and leading non-OPEC oil producing nations to work together in the interest of sustainable oil market stability.

The Conference saw OPEC Member Countries reinforce their joint efforts to overcome a then-unprecedented oil market downturn, reduce inventory overhang, particularly in the OECD region, and revive the necessary investment to support energy security and market stability in the short, medium and long terms.

In recalling the momentous meeting, OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, stated: "The volatility seen in the oil market in 2016 was unprecedented for many; however, there was a strong consensus that the way forward requires collaboration, leadership and extensive diplomacy – some of the key characteristics that have underpinned the Organisation’s work since its founding 61 years ago.

"The ‘Vienna Agreement’ constitutes an historic moment in the history of the oil industry, as well as in international cooperation and multilateralism, as it led to the institutionalization of a global framework that not only helped the oil industry immediately, but also years later when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020 and caused a severe oil market contraction."

Five years ago, on the last day of November, OPEC Members called on non-OPEC oil-producing nations to join an initiative to cooperate on a regular basis to support oil market stability, highlighting the key role that non-OPEC producers can play in achieving this all-important objective. They additionally adopted oil production adjustments and established a high-level ministerial monitoring committee to review the implementation of these decisions.

These efforts were carried out to help restore stability in the global oil market for the benefit of all producers, consumers and investors, as well as the global economy. They additionally underpinned the Organization’s views on the importance of multilateralism, international cooperation and dialogue.

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US: Bodies of two of three missing kids found in Minnesota lake

The bodies of two young children have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned.

Meanwhile, the father of the children died at a different location hours earlier, and their mother is missing. Names have not been released.

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The chain of events began Friday morning when the father was found dead at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.

Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.

A search of the lake found one child’s body Friday evening. A second body was found overnight. Searchers from several organizations were busy Saturday looking for the third, as well as the mother.

Authorities believe all three children were under the age of 5.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He called the deaths a “likely triple homicide.”

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Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

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Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Several dozen Romanian and Bulgarian firefighters took up their posts in Greece on Saturday, the first members of a European force being deployed to the country to provide backup in case of major wildfires during the summer.

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway and Finland will be on standby during the hottest months of July and August in Greece, where a spate of wildfires caused devastation last summer.

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A group of 28 Romanian firefighters with eight vehicles, and 16 firefighters from Bulgaria with four vehicles, were the first to arrive for the two-month mission, financed and coordinated under the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.

“We thank you very much for coming to help us during a difficult summer for our country, and for proving that European solidarity is not just theoretical, it’s real,” Greek Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said on Saturday as he welcomed the members of the Romanian mission in Athens.

“When things get tough, you will be side by side with our Greek firefighters so we can save lives and property.”

The Bulgarian firefighters have been stationed in Larissa, in central Greece.

Last summer’s wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece as the country experienced its worst heatwave in 30 years.

Following sharp criticism of its response to the fires, the Greek government set up a new civil protection ministry and promised to boost firefighting capacities.

In Greece’s worst wildfire disaster, 102 people were killed when a blaze tore through the seaside town of Mati and nearby areas close to Athens during the summer of 2018.

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One killed, six injured in shootout between migrant groups in Serbia

One migrant was killed and at least six others, including a teenage girl, were injured Saturday in a shootout between migrant groups in Serbia near the Hungarian border, the state-run RTS television reported.

The 16-year-old girl sustained life threatening injuries in the incident that occurred in a forest in the outskirts of Subotica, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Belgrade, where the injured were hospitalized, RTS reported.

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Police, who made no immediate comment, blocked access to the forest where the incident took place, only around a kilometer from the Hungarian border.

Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin rushed to the scene.

The injured, aged between 20 and 30, have no documents, Subotica mayor Stevan Bakic told local media.

It is not known what triggered the incident, he added.

Local media reported that the shootout occurred between Afghan and Pakistani migrants most likely over human trafficking from the area to European Union member Hungary.

Serbia lies on the so-called Balkans route used by migrants heading towards Western Europe as they flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Although the route is nowhere as busy as it was during Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, tens of thousands of illegal migrants still cross the region annually.

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Three countries ban Russia’s Lavrov flight to Serbia, visit cancelled: Interfax

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