Monday, 7 July 2008

Iran rejects Malaysia’s proposal to discuss oil price

KUALA LUMPUR: Iran has poured cold water on Malaysia’s proposal to discuss the rising oil prices at the Developing Eight Summit on Tuesday.

Iranian D8 Commissioner Suleiman Pour said the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) was the appropriate forum to discuss the soaring crude oil prices and not the D8.

Opec is another organisation and D8 is the economic organisation to enhance economic cooperation among member states,” Bernama quoted him as saying on the sidelines of theD8 commissioners’ meeting yesterday.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said Kuala Lumpur was hoping for a more active participation among member countries, particularly to talk on the spiralling costs of food and fuel.

Contacted by The Star yesterday Rais said Malaysia was committed to ensure D8 remained relevant amid the global economic challenges.

D8 foreign ministers will meet today to map out issues for discussion for their leaders.

He also said over the next few days, the grouping would have to chart its future in view of recent global developments, particularly their role under the canopy of the Organisation of Islamic Conference.

“We need to chart the parameters of D8 and how far member countries are willing to play their part in making the grouping a success,” he added.

Malaysia is taking over the D8 chairmanship from Indonesia.

The grouping, comprising developing Muslim nations – Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia – was formed as a mechanism for development co-operation and to act as a catalyst towards fostering tangible and substantive economic co-operation among Muslim countries.

Rais said the D8 might be small and still in its “childhood years” compared to groupings like the OIC, Asean, the G8 and G15. Nevertheless, enthusiasm should be as keen.

Rais said another crucial matter that D8 members need to look into was the issue of finance to ensure the administrative running of the grouping would not come to an abrupt halt.

Outgoing D8 secretary-general Dipo Alam was quoted as saying the grouping would be financially exhausted soon if no financial aid was given by member states.

Source : The Star