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Trump accuses Mideast producers of pushing oil price higher

London — US President Donald Trump called on Thursday for OPEC to take action reducing oil prices as many of the group's key members prepare to meet with their Russian allies in Algeria this weekend.

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"We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember," wrote Trump in a tweet. "The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!"

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His remarks come as Brent crude trades just under $80/b in London ahead of OPEC's monitoring committee meeting with its allies led by Russia scheduled for Sunday. Saudi Arabia's oil ministers Khalid al-Falih and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak will both attend the summit, which isn't scheduled as a policy-setting gathering.

OPEC, Russia and nine other producers outside the grouping on June 23 agreed to raise their collective output by 1 million b/d but have left open how these allocations will be distributed.

Trump has previously used Twitter as a platform to accuse OPEC of inflating oil prices. However, US sanctions due to come into force on Iran in November are expected to reduce supplies of crude by up to 1.4 million b/d, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Iran's oil minister Bijan Zanganeh told Platts this week that he would veto any OPEC deal which would threaten the country's market share. He has also pulled out of attending the meeting in Algeria.

--Andy Critchlow,

--Edited by Alisdair Bowles,