Saudi king: OPEC to launch 500-mln-fund on development and environment

By Xinhua

Riyadh : The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will launch a fund to deal with development and environmental issues, Saudi Arabia’s king said on Saturday night.

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King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud made the announcement at the two-day 3rd OPEC summit which opened here on Saturday afternoon amid surging oil prices.

The OPEC fund of 500 million U.S. dollars will be launched to help developing countries to deal with development and global climate change, said the king, without elaborating more.

In OPEC’s 47 years history, the oil cartel has been focusing on two points: protecting its members and guaranteeing the oil supply, said the king who presided over the opening ceremony as the host of the two-day summit.

The leaders of the oil cartel’s 12 member states, except Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, attended the opening ceremony.

Indonesia was represented by Vice President Jusuf Kalla on behalf of President Susilo.

Earlier on Thursday, the Libya-born OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri told a news conference that development and environmental issues would remain prominent throughout the summit.

Amid surging oil prices and call from the United States to pump more output, this OPEC summit’s schedule has ruled out discussion upon immediate measures to control the daily oil output, said Badri, adding that the oil market was well-supplied and currently there was no need to increase oil output.