President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has met with Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammad Barkindo in Davos.
Recalling a speech of President Ilham Aliyev at the World Economic Forum five years ago, Mohammad Barkindo said:
- Mr. President, if you remember, you were the first among world leaders to call on all OPEC member and non-member countries to join forces and work together at the World Economic Forum five years ago. No-one had put forward such initiatives before. You are a visionary and very determined person. Using this global platform, you encouraged all of us to consolidate and work together. Because, as you said, we were all in the same position. Because we all produced the same oil and sold it in the same markets. At that time, market prices fell by more than 80 percent.
President Ilham Aliyev: Yes, oil prices dropped to about $30.
Mohammad Barkindo: We witnessed the worst possible situation. Mr. President, we began to work as a result of your visionary leadership, your appeal. On 10 December 2016, to be more exact within 12 months, we signed a declaration on cooperation with 24 countries.
President Ilham Aliyev: That's exactly right.
Mohammad Barkindo: This happened for the first time in history. We did this thanks to your leadership, your views. We will never forget that, Mr. President. This is very important for us, and, as you noted, over the past five years we worked very closely with Azerbaijan, which remained faithful to all the decisions made.
President Ilham Aliyev: Thank you for your kind words. I am grateful to you for remembering this. On that day here in Davos, I was asked what needed to be done in connection with this, and I put forward this proposal. I am grateful to OPEC for taking this proposal seriously, and we created a truly unique partnership format. I believe there is no other international organization that would have this format, and not only the format, but that would at the same time effectively execute the decisions made. It is sometimes difficult to come to an agreement even within one and the same organization. However, the OPEC and non-OPEC countries, large and small oil producers joined their efforts. Because it was our common goal. But, of course, without your leadership, our efforts would have been inconclusive, because you, as the head of the organization, not only coordinated all the processes, but also led them. I believe and am sure that one of the reasons for success is that all countries trust you. This was a very important factor. So we had a mix of all the important elements. There was strong leadership on the part of the organization, as well as very serious cooperation between member states and non-members of the organization. I know that it wasn’t easy to achieve a certain reduction in production even between some member countries. Of course, there was a very effective monitoring process, as well as a matter of trust. I believe that all members of this process are currently trying to keep their word because it is necessary to maintain confidence. I also want to thank you for the initiative related to the holding of one of the OPEC+ meetings in Baku. I invited you and you accepted the invitation. We look forward to enhanced cooperation. Azerbaijan is already showing itself as a member of OPEC. I am sure that it will be continued this way.
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