UPDATE 2-Saudi energy minister due in Iraq to discuss extension to oil output cuts

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BAGHDAD, May 22 (Reuters) - Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih will meet with his Iraqi counterpart in Baghdad on Monday as the top oil producer seeks to convince others to extend output cuts for a further nine months ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets in Vienna to consider whether to extend the cuts agreed in December last year between OPEC and 11 non-member countries, including Russia.

Saudi Arabia is pushing to extend the cuts until next March.

It is the first time in nearly three decades that a senior Saudi energy official has visited Baghdad.

"The two ministers will discuss boosting bilateral relations and the upcoming OPEC decision to help boost global prices and reduce the glut in the market," Iraqi oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told Reuters.

They will hold a joint news conference at 1500 GMT on Monday, he added.

Last week Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that Iraq was in favor of extending the current deal but did not specify for how long. The country's oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi had previously said that Iraq would support a six-month extension.

OPEC wants to reduce global oil inventories to their five-year average but so far has struggled to do so. Stockpiles are hovering near record highs, partly because of rising production in the United States, which is not part of the existing deal.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and David Goodman)