Saudi Arabian king slams oil speculators

July 16, 2008

, ROME, July 16 – Saudi Arabian King Abdullah on Wednesday denounced speculation on oil prices and called for more dialogue between producing and consuming nations in an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica.

"Oil has become a commodity, pratically like a currency (that) has attracted speculative interest among some companies and people," said Abdullah, whose nation is the world\’s top oil exporter.

"We don\’t want the price to be so high. It is not in our interest because it is not in the interest of the rest of the world," he said.

Saudi Arabia has warned repeatedly that speculation is a leading cause of soaring oil prices along with rising demand and the taxation of oil products in consumer countries.

The International Energy Agency said early this month that speculators should not be a "scapegoat" for the record prices.

Abudullah has said importing countries should "adapt" to the rising prices while calling for more dialogue between producers and consumers.

"Cooperation between the two sides should be strengthened to address the overall market situation: that\’s what is needed to stabilise oil prices, and it is a shared goal," Abdullah told the Italian daily.

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