The last founding delegate of Opec has died
The last surviving delegate from the conference that founded OPEC has died at his home in Abu Dhabi.
After the July 17 revolution brought hard-line members of the Baath Party to power in 1968, he left Iraq for Abu Dhabi, using his expertise to help establish the new national oil company in 1971.
Abdullah Ismail was Iraqi deputy minister of petroleum and was part of his country’s delegation to the historic Baghdad conference of 1960 which resulted in the formation of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Interviewed for the 60th anniversary of OPEC last year, he explained that the organization had been set up “in response to the manipulation of prices carried out by oil companies who disregarded the interests of oil and oil producing countries. their peoples, the legitimate owners of the Resources “.
Fearing that prices would be pushed down by an oil company cartel, the Iraqi government invited Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela – the major oil producers at the time – to Baghdad on September 10, 1960.
The result was a decision to find ways to coordinate prices in a way that benefits producers, with a second meeting in 1961 that agreed to locate the OPEC headquarters in Vienna and with the representative of the Iran, Dr Fuad Rouhani, as the first Secretary-General.
“The organization… has played a key role in safeguarding the interests of oil-producing countries and in accepting many legitimate rights that were impossible or difficult to acquire before Opec,” Mr. Ismail said.
Abu Dhabi joined Opec in 1967, expanding to the United Arab Emirates after the union was formed on December 2, 1971.
By then, events had led to Ismail’s relocation to Abu Dhabi, where he was able to offer his services to Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and future first president as he prepared to unite the seven. emirates as UAE.
There he joined diplomat Adnan Pachachi, another Iraqi exile, who was advising on foreign policy. Ismail’s expertise in the oil industry made him a valuable advisor to Mana Saeed Al Otaiba, who would become the UAE’s prime minister of petroleum, with Ismail as undersecretary in the ministry.
The creation of the United Arab Emirates required a national strategy for the management of the new country’s energy resources, with Adnoc finally increasing its share of offshore and onshore concessions to a majority of 60% in 1974.
In his role as Undersecretary, Ismail won the respect of all who dealt with him, with a delegation of British MPs visiting in 1975, noting that he “spoke with utter frankness and lucidity”.
In an interview for the magazine of the Ministry of the Interior 999 in 2014, he said he was asked almost on his arrival in 1968 to represent Abu Dhabi at a meeting of the Arab League’s economic council in Cairo.
Explaining that he was still technically employed by the Iraqi government, he recalled that Ahmed bin Suwaidi, foreign affairs adviser to Sheikh Zayed and future Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, had immediately ordered a telex “from the government of Baghdad and [to] tell them that Abdullah Ismail has resigned from the Iraqi oil ministry “.
A decree from the ruler followed, making Ismail a citizen and confirming his member of the circle that would forge the new country.
Abdullah Ismail Bachi died Tuesday evening November 16, 2021 in Abu Dhabi and was buried in Baniyas cemetery.
Condolences will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 20 at Al Thuraya Hall of the Beach Rotana hotel.
He is survived by his wife Tamima Toufiq Al Dabbas and his children Firas, Inas and Ahmad.
Updated: November 20, 2021, 7:00 p.m.