The OPEC head who wants to talk to everybody

The OPEC head who wants to talk to everybody
Mohammad Barkindo (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – Running scared?]

In the last three years, OPEC’s Mohammad Barkindo has bowed in prayer alongside Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, dined with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, visited with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin and met with high-ranking U.S. State Department officials.

As secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Mr. Barkindo, a devout Muslim who hails from a prominent family in northern Nigeria, has infused what was once a largely technical position with geopolitical clout, working behind the scenes to mediate within the group while promoting its interests among allies and adversaries.

Now, he has taken on a new project: courting the Trump administration and the broader American public.

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For decades, U.S. officials have generally shunned OPEC, viewing it as a cabal of price-fixers—and the U.S.’s chief rival in the global oil market. But under President Trump, Washington has become an unprecedented threat to OPEC’s actions. In tweet after tweet, Mr. Trump has accused OPEC of driving up crude prices.

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