In Riyadh on Friday, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah inaugurated the Seventh International Energy Forum, which is being attended by delegates from some 47 countries and 9 international organizations. Minister of Petroleum and Minister Resources Ali Al-Naimi addressed the opening ceremony, saying that since the last meeting of the forum, in Capetown, South Africa, two years ago, developments in the energy market have proved the importance of this dialogue. Citing consecutive market fluctuations, the situation of supply and demand, tax policies, and storage management in consuming areas, he said all these factors have maintained the status of oil as the main source of energy and opened the way more widely for its producers and consumers to continue the dialogue for a better formula that guarantees stability and continuation of the oil supply.[full text of Minister Al-Naimi's speech]
In his address to the forum, Crown Prince Abdullah reiterated that the Kingdom has always sought dialogue, and affirmed that Saudi Arabia feels 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 producers. To achieve these goals, he proposed the establishment of a permanent secretariat for the energy forum to work towards promoting a continuous dialogue between producers and consumers.
[full text of Crown Prince Abdullah's speech]
In an interview today, U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, who is attending the forum, described the Crown Prince Abdullah's proposal for the establishment of a secretariat on international energy as a constructive proposal and a new idea, and said the United States would be ready to contribute to studying the proposal.
In her speech, visiting South African Minister of Minerals and Energy Phunzile Mlambo-Ngcuka stressed cooperation in building close relations between the oil producing and oil consuming countries, noting the results of the Sixth Forum [in Capetown] that had called for continuation of dialogue among countries concerned with oil. Delegates from the Netherlands and from Japan, co-organizers of the current forum, also addressed the gathering.