It was announced today, Tuesday, the death of the former Saudi Minister of Petroleum, Ahmed Zaki Yamani, at the age of 90, who is considered the most powerful Arab oil man.
Second Minister of Petroleum
Yamani was the second Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in the oil-rich Gulf kingdom from 1962 to 1986.
Yamani is the first Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), where he worked for 25 years at a stage that marked the beginning of the Saudi oil boom.
The deceased was born in Mecca in 1930, close to King Faisal bin Abdulaziz, the third king of the country. And who appointed him (when he was crown prince) as Minister of Petroleum in a country that is the largest oil exporter in the world.
First Secretary-General of “OPEC”
Likewise, Minister Yamani is the first Secretary-General in the history of OPEC, which was established in Baghdad in 1960, and is seen as an influential member. In the organization which is based in the Austrian capital Vienna.
During the oil crisis in 1973, Yamani played a major role in reducing the production of black gold, which caused a major crisis in Western countries. Which affected the decision of King Faisal to ban oil exports to the United States and the Netherlands during that period.
Man of the moment
In the December 24, 1973 issue of Newsweek International, on its cover, Yamani was described as the “man of the moment” during that crisis.
In 1975, Yamani was kidnapped with 10 other oil ministers, by Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as “Carlos the Fox”. Who was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. And that during a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.
A witness to the assassination of King Faisal
Yamani was also with King Faisal in his office the moment he was shot dead in 1975 by his nephew Prince Faisal bin Musaed.
In 1990 Yamani founded the Center for Global Energy Studies, a market analysis group.
Details of his abduction
In 1975, the Austrian capital Vienna witnessed a dangerous operation, with the kidnapping of the oil ministers of the “OPEC” countries.
Among these ministers, the former Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ahmed Zaki Yamani; And that at the hands of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. According to what was said at the time.
According to the information that a number of the kidnapped ministers gave to the media, the armed attack took place on the headquarters of the “OPEC” organization during the session. Wrap-up by 6 Prime Time Zone including Venezuelan Ilich Ramirez Sanchez; Famous for Carlos the Fox (converted to Islam in 1975), two are Palestinian, and one is Lebanese. A German girl, and an unknown sixth person.
60 hostages held at OPEC headquarters
About 60 hostages were taken, including the oil ministers, while a security guard was killed at the meeting venue. Add to a member. The Libyan delegation, and another from the Iraqi delegation.
And Carlos the Fox did; The ministers are divided into three sections: friendly countries, enemy states, and neutral third countries.
He also asked the Austrian authorities to broadcast a statement on the radio; To announce support for the Palestinian cause, in addition to providing several aircraft and buses. To complete the plan, by moving and those with him, accompanied by the hostages, to the airport.
The kidnapping lasted nearly 46 hours, as the ministers and a number of other country delegations were transported by bus to an abandoned airport.
One of the planes was parked, and all the hostages were released except for the ministers of states and their representatives.
The hijackers’ plane landed in Algeria
The plane landed in Algeria, where the Algerian oil minister was allowed to disembark, and then the hijackers headed to Libya. The Libyan Oil Minister was allowed to be released.
From there the kidnappers thought of heading to Yemen, and then Iraq, except that they headed to Tunisia.
Officials in Tunisia refused to land the plane, and the airport runway was closed. To return the plane to land in Algeria.
Negotiations took place with Algerian officials who succeeded in persuading the kidnappers to release all the hostages in exchange for conditional aid.
The execution of Ahmed Zaki Yamani
And in one of the media statements made by the perpetrator of the attack, Carlos the Fox; After his arrest in the Sudan in 1994, and his extradition to France. He confirmed that they had orders stipulating the execution of the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ahmed Zaki Yamani. At the end of the process.
He pointed out that the decision was issued by three sides: an Arab state, and two organizations that are members of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
And Carlos declared; In the interview that the central planning and coordination and political and military administration of the detention process. Ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were held hostage in Vienna (1975). It was his direct responsibility.
He explained that the idea was originally issued by the head of an Arab country. The US authorities know his identity well. He refused to reveal his name.
Study it in Cairo
It is worth noting that Ahmed Zaki Yamani studied law at Cairo University and graduated from Harvard University.
Before assuming his position as Minister of Oil, he worked as a legal advisor to the Council of Ministers, and as a minister of state. And a member of the Council of Ministers in 1960.
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