Brothers and friends:
Guests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Seventh International Energy Forum:
On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz and the people and government of Saudi Arabia, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Seventh International Energy Forum.
It is of great significance that this important forum is convened in our country: a country that has always sought dialogue and mutual understanding with all parties concerned with the energy industry. It gives us great satisfaction to witness this high level of participation from various countries and organizations.
Your participation in this forum at this particular juncture underscores your commitment to promoting dialogue and constructive consultation as a way of tackling issues related to energy and its impact on the stability and growth of world economy.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with its rich oil and gas resources, feels a 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.
At the Caracas Summit of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in September, Saudi Arabia stressed a number of issues and considerations pertaining to the oil market, their effects on the economies of oil producers and consumers, and their repercussions on the stability and efficiency of the world economy. It also affirmed its readiness to ensure the continuity of the oil supplies required for world economic growth, and to increase its production levels if needed by the market.
Our efforts to ensure oil market stability, and oil supply continuity, require similar efforts by consumers because of the importance of cooperation among all parties to achieve this objective. We are concerned as more calls are made to discriminate against oil, or when doubt is cast on the continuity of its supplies. It is worrying to us when we are blamed for the rise of oil prices to the final consumers.
We hope that this forum will end in mutual understanding on the present and future status of world energy, an understanding marked by a balanced vision and a reciprocal desire to reach a situation in which energy issues transcend differences in favor of constructive cooperation serving the interests of all parties.
At the present stage of human evolution, such cooperation has become a necessity and not just an option that can be taken into consideration or overlooked. Previous disagreement and confrontation between producers and consumers have only adversely affected the interests of both parties.
The cooperation we should all seek to achieve is one that is based on constructive and transparent dialogue between all parties interested in energy issues. We should all coordinate our efforts in all that relates to the future of world energy planning and use.
To achieve these goals, the Kingdom suggests considering the establishment of a permanent secretariat for the energy forum to work towards promoting a continuous dialogue between producers and consumers. This dialogue should include the industry and all other parties interested in energy matters. The establishment of such a secretariat will enhance our dialogue and make it more regular and more conducive to achieving our goals. The Kingdom stands ready to host the Forum's secretariat in Riyadh.
To conclude, I wish to express my appreciation for your presence, hoping that this forum will consolidate our mutual understanding and dialogue so as to achieve prosperity for our countries and continued growth of the world economy.
I welcome you again, and wish you success.