Security was tight in Geneva on Sunday (25 March) when representatives of the Organisation of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) arrived for their conference.
Security was tight in Geneva on Sunday (25 March) when representatives of the Organisation of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC) arrived for their conference. Their consultative meeting had been called to discuss disruption of the oil market caused by a cut in supplies from Iran, OPEC's second largest producer after Saudi Arabia. The oil minister of the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Mana Al-Oteiba, said soon after arrival they would not allow one drop of their oil to reach Israel, either directly or indirectly. The signing of a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt was taking place in Washington on Monday (26 March), the first day of the OPEC talks.
SYNOPSIS: After the spate of hijackers and airport incidents in recent years, major airports have increased their surveillance and search procedures. Geneva is among the most carefully policed. The kidnapping by terrorists involving OPEC ministers in Vienna two years ago, has led to fine-mesh security whenever its members gather. Before the conference began, the Financial Times of London said the outcome of their deliberations were more uncertain than at any other time since 1973, when they boosted prices four-fold. Experts predicted there would be no decision on official prices.
Geneva's Hotel Intercontinental, venue for the conference, was bristling with silent guards carrying automatic weapons. A question mark hanging over the talks concerned the future production levels of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Neither country had foreshadowed its intentions. The Iran delegation was said not to know how much its new government wants to produce for its revenue needs, or how much oil workers would allow. Mr. Al-Oteiba gave his views on price rises and denying supplies for Israel.