S. Korea's Lee to visit Middle East to secure crude

January 30, 2012 10:31


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SEOUL - South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will visit major oil producing countries in the Middle East next month amid growing pressure from key ally the United States to join sanctions against Tehran by cutting crude oil imports from Iran.

Lee will visit Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates over four days starting Feb. 7 to secure "stable sources of energy," his office said in a statement.

According to the presidential Blue House Saudi Arabia is South Korea's largest source of crude, accounting for around a third of the country's imports, and Qatar and the UAE its third and fifth largest respectively.

South Korea, the world's fifth-largest oil importer, sourced some 87 percent of its total crude imports from the Middle East last year.

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