United Arab Emirates backs oil producers' output freeze plan

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The United Arab Emirates has thrown its support behind a plan involving oil powerhouses Russia and Saudi Arabia to freeze oil production levels in an attempt to halt the slide in crude prices.

The OPEC member's energy minister said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM on Thursday that the UAE would back a cap if other OPEC members and Russia agreed.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela announced their willingness to cap output at last month's levels at a surprise meeting in Qatar earlier this week, but only if other major oil producers join them.

OPEC member Kuwait has since said it supports the proposal. Iran on Wednesday signaled it too supports the proposal, but it gave no indication it plans to cap its own output.