The Third Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Summit of Heads of State began in Riyadh today, hosted by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
In remarks at the event, King Abdullah announced that Saudi Arabia has allocated $300 million to establish a fund for research related to energy, the environment and climate change.
Much of the discourse on the impact of oil on the environment and climate change mingles truth with falsehood, the King said, and the new fund aims to conduct research away from political pressures. He urged consuming and producing countries to contribute to similar programs in the interest of reaching accurate conclusions about the impact of oil on the environment.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who hosted the Second OPEC Summit in 2000, opened this year’s event by calling on member states to promote development programs in the world’s least developed nations.
King Abdullah also honored the 12 Secretaries-General of OPEC, and awarded prizes for research and journalism related to the oil industry.
After the summit’s inauguration, the King hosted a banquet in honor of OPEC leaders and their delegations.
Leaders attending the summit include President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Emir Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar, Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah of Kuwait, President Jalal Talabani of Iraq, President Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador, President Umaru Yar’adua of Nigeria, President Abdulaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, President Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan of the UAE, and President José Eduardo dos Santos of Angola. Also attending are Vice-President Muhammad Yusuf Kalla of Indonesia and Libyan Oil Minister Dr. Shukri Ghanem. Saudi Arabia’s delegation to the summit is headed by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz.