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IEA chief has talks with OPEC

VIENNA, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Meetings between the new head of the IEA and members of OPEC in Vienna are part of a broader outreach program, the new energy chief said.

Maria van der Hoeven, the new executive director at the International Energy Agency, arrived Thursday in Vienna for meetings with members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, van der Hoeven said keeping channels open between consumers and suppliers made good business sense.

"I think it's very important that being an organization representing consuming countries, you have to be in close, good and open contact with those who are supplying you," she said.

The IEA moved in opposition to OPEC this summer when it called on its member states to release oil from strategic reserves to help offset declines in Libya oil production, which was shuttered by war.

OPEC, during its regular meeting before the IEA decision, opted to leave official production quotas unchanged despite concerns about energy's impact on the already-weakened global economy.

In addition to reaching out to OPEC, van der Hoeven said emerging countries and those outside either organization were welcome partners in global energy developments.

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"It's a new part of our outreach policy," she told the Journal.

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