Ministers from four key oil producing countries met in Paris on February 24 and 25 in an apparent effort to avoid a price war.
FEBRUARY 24: (TDF) (EUROVISION RECORDING)
GV EXTERIOR Ministers arriving for meeting (2 shots)
SCU Kuwaiti Oil Minister,Sheik Ali-Khalifa Al-Sabah speaks (SOT)
FEBRUARY 25: (NBC)
SV Mexican oil minister, Francisco Labastida speaks (SPANISH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION SOT)
FEBRUARY 24 (FREDERIC FABRE)
SCU PULL BACK TO SV Algerian oil minister, Belkacem Nabi speaking PULL BACK TO SV Venezuelan oil minister, Humberto Calderon Berti, speaking (SOT)
GV Ministers shaking hands and embracing as they leave the meeting
TRANSCRIPT FOR SEQUENCE TWO:
SHEIKH AL-SABAH: "We have agreed to continue these discussions and exchange views."
LABASTIDA: "Anything that this interchange of views with oil producing countries must end to help stabilise the world oil market."
NABI: "I think since (indistinct) we have found for our problem inside, within OPEC. I don't know why we don't find a solution of our problem today inside within OPEC."
BERTI: "There isn't any doubt that we have been working together in order to reach an agreement in OPEC. We failed to reach an agreement in OPEC and as far as Venezuela is concerned we want to take any unilateral action."
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Background: Ministers from four key oil producing countries met in Paris on February 24 and 25 in an apparent effort to avoid a price war. Oil ministers from Venezuela, Algeria, Kuwait and Mexico held their February 25 meeting at the Kuwaiti Embassy. The previous day Venezuelan and Algerian ministers held bilateral talks while the Mexican and Kuwaiti ministers were involved in separate discussions. The meeting of the four ministers was seen as a concerted effort to establish a degree of co-operation in advance of the proposed OPEC meeting in early March. The Kuwaiti Minister, Sheikh Ali al-Khalifa Al-Sabah, said the talks on co-operation between oil producing countries would continue. The Mexican Minister, Francisco Labastida, said the exchange of views of oil producing countries would help to stabilise the market. He said instability was not in the interests of either the oil producers or the consumers. There was increasing speculation that Mexico would join OPEC after the meeting, But Algerian Minister Belkacem Nabi said he did not think Mexico would join. Even so, he said it was important they were closely aligned with OPEC prices and Mexico coincided with OPEC prices in general. The Venezuelan Minister, Humberto Calderon Berti, said he saw Britain as a crucial link between consumers and producers in any bid to avert a price war. Talks between a Venezuelan delegation and British officials, the main produces of oil in the North Sea, began in London on February 23. Mr. Berti said the internal problems in OPEC would first have to be solved, but Britain could then be used ad a link between OPEC and the consumers.