Iraq is to maintain its candidate for the post of OPEC secretary general, in a three-way contest with Saudi Arabia and Iran, Oil Minister Amer Rashid said Monday.
The minister also slammed Washington's decision last month to tap into its strategic oil reserves.
"Iraq renews its candidacy of Abdel Amir al-Anbari for the OPEC secretary general's post and we will reiterate this at the (cartel's) next meeting" on November 12 in Vienna, he said, quoted by the official news agency INA.
The Arab daily Al-Hayat reported in August that Iraq had offered to withdraw Anbari to make way for a Venezuelan candidate, following a Baghdad visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Rilwanu Lukman of Nigeria stayed on beyond his term as secretary general of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries in September 1999 after none of the three candidates won unanimous approval.
New elections were to have been organised during the OPEC summit held in Caracas at the end of September.
Rashid said the US administration's decision to tap into its strategic oil reserves was an election ploy and predicted it would have no lasting impact on the world market.
"It's an unjustifiable measure on the oil and political fronts because it will have no effect on the current situation," he said. "It will not settle the problems created by the US administration on the world market."
US President Bill Clinton on September 23 ordered the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the country's emergency reserves to head off shortages and curb soaring prices. - (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)