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No oil price hike
An overwhelming majority of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to cancel plans for a five per cent increase in the price of the crude oil, to go into effect in July, the OPEC secretary general announced in Vienna. A.M. Ali Jaldah said in a brief statement the decision was made “in the interest and solidarity of OPEC”.
“The following countries of the organisation — Algeria, Equador, Gabon, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Nigeria, Qatar and Venezuela – have resolved to forgo the revenue of the additional five per cent increase in the price of oil,” the statement said.
Hamid Zuheri, the OPEC Information Department Chief, declined to say why Libya and Iraq, two of 11 countries which had voted on the price rise at Doha, Qatar, last December, refused to go along with the decision of the others and what the remaining two members of the OPEC — Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) — would take.
Saudis tilt balance
Saudi Arabia and the UAE refused to step up price of their oil by 15 per cent in two stages at the Doha meeting, with a 10 per cent boost to go into effect on January 1, 1977 and a five per cent boost on July 1, 1977. It was the second boost the nine OPEC members now decided to forgo. Saudi Arabia and the UAE had instead decided to boost price of their oil by five per cent. There was speculation that the two countries would now boost the price of their oil by another five per cent to arrive at a new unified price of $12.70 of the Marker crude.
Pak-China air links
Pakistan and China signed documents providing for cooperation between the two countries in the field of civil aviation at their meeting in Karachi, according to Radio Pakistan.