(AFP) – Nov 16, 2007
RIYADH (AFP) — A final statement from OPEC leaders at their summit here will not express concern about the falling dollar despite efforts by Iran to include the weak US currency, the organisation's chief said Friday.
"Let me be clear: the dollar will not be in the final statement," Abdullah al-Badri told reporters after emerging from a meeting of ministers to prepare the statement, which will be issued by leaders at the end of a two-day summit on Sunday.
"It (the dollar) is an individual country issue," he added, meaning the subject would not be tackled at the level of OPEC, which groups 12 oil-producing countries.
Earlier, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki proposed that the final declaration by OPEC leaders, who arrive here Saturday, should express concern by member states about the fall of the dollar.
Reacting to the request, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal warned that mentioning the falling dollar could lead to the "collapse" of the US currency.
"There are media people outside waiting to catch this point and they will add to it (exaggerate) and we may find that the dollar collapses," he said.
"This is a sensitive issue. It will cause the dollar to drop further, thus complicating the problems we are facing from the dollar's fall," he added.
The exchange between US foe Iran and Saudi Arabia, one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East, was witnessed when a private meeting of ministers from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries was broadcast for 30 minutes on closed-circuit television in the media room.
The fall of the US dollar, which has declined by about 15 percent in 12 months, has affected the revenues of OPEC members because most of them price and sell their oil exports in the US currency.
Mottaki told reporters after the meeting that finance ministers would study how to prevent the falling dollar hitting the revenues of OPEC countries.
"It was decided that finance ministers of OPEC will study the issue and suggest mechanisms for the sake of preserving revenues of OPEC members," he said.
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