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Barkindo mourns demise of Sheikh Zaki Yamani

Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo has condoled with the authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the death of its former Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani.

He said in a letter he personally signed and addressed to HE Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Minister of Energy that “on behalf of OPEC, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends and to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

He pointed out in the letter that Yamani was an icon of the world of oil and a leading light in the formative years and decades of OPEC. “I recall vividly and with fondness his patience and graciousness at our meetings. He was an active listener who when he spoke, every one paid attention with what I call pin drop silence. He was charismatic and eloquent, as well as humble and deeply religious.”

His time as minister covered more than 24 years and 75 OPEC Ministerial Conferences, of which he was President of seven, Barkindo noted.

“This included his very first OPEC Conference, the fourth for the Organization, held at the then new OPEC headquarters in Geneva in 1962.

“In the following years, he offered great leadership and wisdom to the Organization and was directly involved in a number of landmark OPEC statements and decisions focused on Member Countries sovereign rights over their natural resources. This included the ‘Declaratory Statement of Petroleum Policy in Member Countries’ in 1968, followed by a number of developments in the early 1970s that culminated in the Geneva I and Geneva II agreements.

“They constituted turning points in the international oil industry, bringing OPEC and its Member Countries more prominently to the fore.

“I also personally recall how HE Yamani was a pivotal figure in bringing people together. This was particularly on display during the holy months of Ramadan, when he routinely hosted informal ministerial consultations in Taif to brainstorm current market developments to help build consensus for official OPEC conferences.”

The OPEC scribe further said that Yamani’s strong leadership, his dedicated service and broad vision for OPEC has left a rich legacy for the Organization. The OPEC Secretariat reflects on his contribution and significant role in shaping the Organization’s history with great admiration and pride.