By Arab News
Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf said Thursday that the Kingdom would continue to contribute effectively to maintain stability in global energy markets.
“The Kingdom’s long and short term efforts have been bolstering the world economic situation,” the Saudi Press Agency quoted him as saying in Cannes, southern France, where he is attending the Group of 20 meeting.
“The Kingdom’s wise and pragmatic policies have earned the respect of the world while its membership in the G20 is a reflection of its status regionally and internationally,” the minister added.
Oil prices rallied Thursday, mirroring strong gains on equity markets, as the G20 got down to business on the euro zone debt crisis and the European Central Bank cut interest rates in a surprise move.
Fast-moving events in Athens overshadowed the first day of the summit, with world leaders again anxiously urging Europe to act to stop contagion from its sovereign debt crisis.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou sparked turmoil in world markets earlier this week when he said he would put the rescue deal to a referendum.
He revised his decision on Thursday after French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Greece would receive no more IMF and EU funding until the deal was approved.
Papandreou changed his mind after a widespread rebellion from within his own Socialist party over the referendum idea, but ignored repeated calls to resign. He faces a critical vote of confidence in his government Friday.