Iraq promised to withdraw its candidate for OPEC secretary-general to make way for a Venezuelan as a way of thanking that country for its president's recent visit to Iraq, the Arab-language newspaper Al-Hayat said Friday.
"Iraqi President Saddam Hussein promised his Venezuelan counterpart, during his visit to Baghdad last week, to withdraw the candidacy of Iraqi Abdel Amir al-Anbari in case Caracas put forward a candidate for OPEC secretary-general," the London-based paper said, quoting sources who asked not to be identified.
The Iraqi President made the offer "in recognition of Venezuela's efforts to maintain the high level of crude prices and for Hugo Chavez's visit to Iraq despite US protests," Al-Hayat said.
Nigerian Rilwanu Lukman was retained as secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries last September after none of the three candidates won unanimous approval.
Those candidates were Anbari, Iranian Hussein Kazempur Ardebili and Saudi Suleiman al-Herbish.
The next elections will be held during the OPEC summit in Caracas late September - DUBAI (AFP)
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