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Mauritius proposes organisation of non oil producing countries

ADDIS ABABA, July 10 – Mauritius on Thursday proposed the creation of an organisation of non-oil producing countries to counter the effects of soaring crude prices on the world\’s poorest nations.

The idea was floated by the Indian Ocean island\’s ambassador to the African Union in Addis Ababa, where the 53-nation pan-African organisation is headquartered.

"The only solution is the creation of an organisation of non-oil producing countries (ONOPC) as a protective tool," Premdut Doongoor told reporters.

The diplomat said that the recent surge in oil prices has had disastrous consequences for the economies of small developing countries that do not produce oil themselves.

Doongoor also proposed the "creation of an international oil fund for Africa and the least developed countries."

He said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the powerful oil cartel that pumps about 40 percent of world oil, should contribute to the fund.

The Mauritian diplomat urged the African Union, the European Union and the G8 group of eight most industrialised countries to support the idea during the next United Nations general assembly to be held in New York in September.

Oil prices last week peaked at 145 dollars a barrel, twice their level in July 2007.

On Thursday, OPEC\’s secretary general remained mum in the face of growing calls, including from the world\’s poorer countries, to hike output in order to curb the rise in prices.

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