Ch�z: Summit promises new dawn for OPEC

Next month's summit of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' heads of state will mark the dawn of new OPEC better able to 'defend the economic interests of member states,' predicts Venezuelan President Hugo Ch�z.


CARACAS�Next month's summit of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) heads of state will mark the dawn of new OPEC better able to "defend the economic interests of member states," predicts Venezuelan President Hugo Ch�z.

Speaking in Caracas on the final day on his 10-city tour of OPEC countries, the Venezuelan leader said he was "optimistic" the organization's second summit would lead to a united OPEC that was "restructured and not reduced to the observation of quotas."

The OPEC News Agency (OPECNA) reported Ch�z as saying the discussions held with OPEC heads during his tour had been "beyond his expectations," with consensus having been reached "on all subjects discussed, most notably of the defence and stabilization of oil prices."

Ch�z, according to OPECNA, said these topics were "essential and vital for the present and the future of Arab, Asian, and South American peoples."

Addressing the issue of enlarging OPEC's membership during a press conference held jointly with Algerian Pres. Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Ch�z also extended an open hand to oil exporting countries including Russia, Oman, Mexico, and Norway.

Bouteflika reiterated Ch�z's desire for unity among OPEC states on the issue of oil prices, saying it is "clear that only cohesion and discipline of OPEC quotas would preserve stability of oil prices."

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