Six heads of state for OPEC summit in Venezuela
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said Monday the heads of state of six of the world's leading oil producing countries would take part in an OPEC summit in Venezuela next month.
Chavez, speaking during a visit to Algeria, said Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Libya's Moamer Kadhafi would not be attending the summit marking the 40th anniversary of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) "for obvious reasons".
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and the Emir of Kuwait would also be absent, Chavez said, adding that they would be sending high-level delegations to the summit instead.
Chavez, whose country holds the rotating OPEC presidency, said the heads of state of Algeria, Qatar, Nigeria, Iran, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates had confirmed they would attend the September summit.
Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who greeted the Venezuelan leader on his arrival, said he was encouraged to learn from Chavez that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami would attend the summit.
"Iran is in the process of opening up", and Khatami was "a good politician", Bouteflika said at the welcoming ceremony here as Chavez began the final leg of his tour of OPEC countries.
Algeria has had no diplomatic relations with Iran since 1993, after accusing Iran of overt support for Islamic guerrillas in Algeria's civil war. As well as discussing OPEC issues such as the price band system adopted this year, the two leaders will discuss bilateral ties between their countries.
Chavez has visited all of the cartel's members in preparation for a summit. Prior to Algeria, the trip has taken him to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria and the Gulf states of Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)