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Iran to host 9 heads of state in GECF summit: Oil Minister

Source: Press TV

Iran's oil minister says the Islamic Republic will be hosting nine heads of state and a large group of other dignitaries during the third summit meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)

Speaking at a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday, Bijan Zangeneh said the third summit meeting of the forum will open in the Iranian capital on Monday with participants expected to discuss various issues related to production, export and pricing of natural gas in global markets.

“So far, presence of the presidents of Russia, Iraq, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea in the summit has been finalized,” he added.

The Iranian oil minister stated that Algeria will send its prime minister to GECF summit while the president of Turkmenistan will take part as special guest.

Zangeneh said this is the first time that a summit meeting of GECF is to host nine heads of state, adding, “The first GECF summit, which was held in Qatar, had four heads of state as its guests, while there were six country leaders in the second summit, which was held in Russia. For the third summit, which will be held in Tehran, the presence of nine heads of state has been finalized, so far.”

The Iranian oil minister noted that the member and observer states of GECF possess about 70 percent of the world’s total natural gas reserves while accounting for 45 percent of global gas production, about 85 percent of gas trade in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and 40 percent of gas trade through pipeline.

“Iran has the world’s biggest natural gas reserves and our share in domestic and global markets is increasing on a daily basis,” he said.

According to Zangeneh, two ministerial meetings will be held on Saturday, November 21, followed by the summit of the forum, which will be chaired by Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

On October 18, Zangeneh met with secretary general of GECF, Mohammad Hossein Adeli, in Tehran, telling him that the Islamic Republic is ready to hold the third GECF summit.

“The meeting will be held at the highest level and with the participation of the presidents of the forum’s member countries,” Zangeneh said, adding that energy ministers of the participating countries will also attend the event.

GECF was established by Iran, Russia, Qatar and a number of other countries on December 23, 2008, to help member countries take measures aimed at coordinating natural gas production, export and price control.

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum is made up of 18 main and observer members. Iran, Russia, Qatar, Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Nigeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Peru and the United Arab Emirates are the main members of the forum.

The Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Norway and Oman will also take part in the forum’s summit as observer members.

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