• Non-Aligned summit opens in crisis-torn Venezuela

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    PORLAMAR, Venezuela: The Non-Aligned Movement opens a summit on Saturday in Venezuela, seeking relevance in a post-Cold War world as the crisis-torn host country seeks to lessen its growing isolation. Leaders from the 120-nation group will gather for two days on the Caribbean island of Margarita, where Venezuela will take over the movement’s rotating presidency from Iran. Venezuela, an OPEC member and home to the world’s largest proven oil reserves, will notably be seeking backing for its campaign to slash abundant global crude production in a bid to raise prices. “We hope to reach important agreements with other countries that we want to have a fair price for our hydrocarbons,” said Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino on the eve of the summit. “We don’t want prices to be in the hands of speculators, as has been happening for the past two years.” The oil crunch has triggered an economic crisis in Venezuela, causing food shortages, outbreaks of looting and riots. The government has not said how many leaders will be at the summit, the movement’s 17th.

    AFP

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