Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz,
the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard, reiterated on
Friday the Kingdom’s commitment to dialogue and mutual understanding
with all parties concerned with energy industry.
In an opening address at the 7th
International Energy Forum here last night, Crown Prince Abdullah
affirmed that the Kingdom feels a great responsibility to work in
cooperation and coordination with all oil producers and consumers in
order to achieve the desired level of stability in the international
oil market, thus serving the best interests of both consumers and
In the course of his address, Crown
Prince Abdullah said:
"In the Opec Caracas summit,
last September, Saudi Arabia stressed a number of oil-related issues
and considerations, their effects on the economies of oil producers
and consumers, and their repercussions on the stability and efficiency
of world economy. Saudi Arabia also affirmed its readiness to ensure
the continuity of oil supplies required for world economic growth, and
to increase its production levels if the market required it.
Our efforts to ensure stability in
the oil market and continuity of oil supplies requires reciprocal
efforts by consumers. It is important to understand that cooperation
between all parties is required if we are to achieve this objective.
We are concerned when we hear call for discrimination against oil, or
when doubt is cast on the continuity of oil supplies. It worries us
when we are blamed for the rise in prices paid by the final consumers.
Dear guests, we hope that this forum
will end in mutual understanding on the present and future status of
world energy, an understanding marked by a balanced vision and a
reciprocal desire to reach a situation in which energy issues
transcend differences in favor of constructive cooperation serving the
interests of all parties.
The Crown Prince went on to say:
"At the present stage of human evolution, such cooperation has
become a necessity, not merely an option. Previous disagreement and
confrontation between producers and consumers have served only to
affect adversely the interests of both parties.
The cooperation we should all seek to
achieve is one that is based on constructive and transparent dialogue
between all parties interested in energy issues. We should all
coordinate our efforts in all that relates to the future of world
energy planning and use.
To achieve these goals, the Kingdom
suggests that consideration should be given to the establishment of a
permanent secretariat for the energy forum to facilitate a continuous
dialogue between producers and consumers. Such dialogue should include
the industry and all other parties interested in energy matters. The
establishment of such a secretariat will encourage regular dialogue
and, through it, the achievement of our goals. The Kingdom stands
ready to host the forum's secretariat in Riyadh.
In the course of his speech to the
forum, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Eng. Ali
Al-Naimi said: "Since our last forum in Cape Town two years ago,
developments in the energy market have highlighted the importance of
continuity and consolidation of this dialogue to reach common
understanding of the intricate energy issues. The world oil market has
witnessed successive developments that were not of major concern not
only to producers but also to consumers, governments and people. The
fluctuations in crude oil prices, the supply and demand situation of
certain products, taxation policies, inventory management in major
consumption areas - let alone environmental specifications and
restrictions - have restored to oil its status as a major source of
energy. These issues have highlighted the urgent need for dialogue
between producing and consuming countries to reach acceptable formulae
to ensure the stability of prices, the continuity of supplies and the
transparency of demand.”
He added: "The Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia is honored to host this forum, along with Japan and the Kingdom
of the Netherlands whose efforts have been of great significance in
preparing for this forum, and in ensuring the remarkable attendance of
oil producing and consuming countries, as well as regional and
international organizations interested in energy issues."
South African Minister of Minerals
and Energy Phunzile Mlambo-Ngcuka delivered the speech on behalf of
the host country of the previous forum. In her speech she laid stress
on cooperation in building close relations between the oil producing
and consuming countries. She hoped that close cooperation between the
oil producers and consumers would be realized.
Then, the Minister of economic
affairs of the Netherlands, which is collaborating in organizing the
forum, stressed in her speech that face-to-face dialogue offers great
benefits in preventing problems in the marketplace. She noted that the
rise in oil price any ensuing disputes between countries about jeopardized
both oil and industry. She emphasized the need to increase oil
production to overcome existing problems.
Later, the Crown Prince graced a
dinner party held in his honor by Engineer Al-Naimi. Then, he watched
an exhibition, co-sponsored by Saudi Aramco, Sabic and electricity
companies, of traditional handicrafts held on the fringes of the
forum. While touring the exhibition he was greeted by U.S. Secretary
of Energy Bill Richardson who had just arrived in Riyadh to attend the