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Monday, March 19, 2007

OPEC president: Ecuador welcome back

VIENNA, March 15 (UPI) -- OPEC's president said at a Vienna news conference Ecuador can re-establish its membership at any time, saying Quito suspended but didn't sever ties in 1992.
Mohamed bin Dhaen al-Hamli, president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said Ecuador is welcome back "at any time," the global energy information firm Platts reports.
Hamli is also the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates.
According to a Nov. 27, 1992, OPEC release: "The conference regretfully accepted the wish of Ecuador to suspend its full membership in the organization. However, recognizing the current economic constraints facing that country, the conference hopes that Ecuador will be able to overcome these difficulties and rejoin the organization in the not too distant future."
Rafael Correa, Ecuador's president, said Wednesday he wants to join OPEC again but didn't set a timeline.
Current members of the oil cartel include Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.
Hamli, responding to rumors Sudan would join, said "There is no official communication (from Sudan) about joining OPEC."

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