OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, met in Baghdad separately with the President of Iraq, HE Dr. Fuad Masum, Iraqi Prime Minister, HE Dr. Haider Al-Abadi,
The Iraqi President commended the OPEC Secretary General on the successful meetings of the Organization held among OPEC Member Countries and OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, which led to the historic decisions, including the Declaration of Cooperation in late 2016.
The Secretary General expressed his deep gratitude to HE Dr. Masum for Iraq’s support during the recent period of extensive consultations between OPEC and non-OPEC nations that led to the historic decisions taken at the 170th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the OPEC Conference on September 28 in Algiers, then the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on November 30, and, the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’ with non-OPEC countries on December 10, both in Vienna.
“By your guidance, great encouragement and the support of your offices, we were able to reach these decisions that were beyond expectations,” HE Mohammad Barkindo said.
The Secretary General reiterated the commendable key role of Iraq, in particular HE Jabbar Al-Luiebi, that was instrumental within OPEC to achieve market stability for both producers and consumers and said Iraq has resumed its leading role in the Organization.
“Iraq is not only a Founder Member of OPEC, but it is the birth place of the Organization and the second-largest oil producer within OPEC,” he added.
Later in the day, the Secretary General met with Iraq’s Prime Minister, HE Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, the second such meeting in less than six months, and thanked him again for the support Iraq is rendering to OPEC.
The two discussed extensively the current market situation and means to rebalance the market within the framework of the recent decisions reached between OPEC and non-OPEC countries. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation of the impartial role pursued by HE Mohammad Barkindo, and stressed that Iraq, despite its multiple challenges, will continue to support these decisions and their implementation.
The Secretary General briefed Dr. Al-Abadi on the recent Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) meeting that took place in Kuwait. HE Mohammad Barkindo said that for January 2017, OPEC and non-OPEC nations achieved a conformity level of 86 per cent and in February, the overall conformity improved further to 94 per cent. He added that all 24 countries are committed to the process and are confident of making further improvements to reach the full and timely conformity of the decisions taken.
HE Mohammad Barkindo also met with the leader of the Iraqi National Alliance, the largest Iraqi parliamentary bloc, and head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), Sayyid Ammar Al-Hakim.
HE Al-Hakim underlined Iraq’s commitment to the decision taken by OPEC and participating non-OPEC countries last year that led to the overall adjustment in oil production by around 1.8 million barrels a day.
HE Barkindo also participated at the high-level plenary of the 3rd Iraq Energy Forum on 2ndApril, 2017 and delivered a speech. He provided a brief account of the landmark achievements of OPEC, as well as the implementation of the decisions taken in late 2016. He extended his deep appreciation for the constructive, flexible, and accommodating role the Iraqi leadership played in the challenging consultation and negotiations that paved the way for the OPEC and non-OPEC decision and the ‘Declaration of Cooperation’. He also praised Iraq’s ‘significant progress in raising its production capacity, despite the many above-ground challenges it has faced’, including the enormous potential the country has for its future development.
HE Mohammad Barkindo expressed his sincere thanks to Mr. Muatasim Akram, Iraq’s Deputy Oil Minister and Dr. Falah Alamri, the Governor of Iraq and the Iraqi officials for the warm welcome, arrangements, and generous hospitality extended to him, as well as the accompanying delegation during his visit.