Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers in Vienna, Austria, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
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Falih took over as OPEC members' resentment toward the kingdom erupted. In April, countries that favored a freeze in production levels blamed Saudi Arabia for sinking it; the same month, Falih's boss, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, said the kingdom didn't care whether oil prices were at $30 or $70, sending a shock wave through OPEC members such as Venezuela, whose faltering economy is dependent on higher prices; and just a few weeks ago, Saudi Arabia's longtime rivalry with Iran exploded into public finger-pointing at a preparatory meeting in Vienna.Falih delivered the message that OPEC was important for Saudi Arabia, according a person briefed on the conversation who asked not to be identified because the discussions weren't public.
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