Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani was quoted Tuesday as saying the kingdom will defend OPEC's oil reference price of $34 a barrel as a nonnegotiable issue at this month's OPEC meeting.
The Saudi Gazette quoted Sheikh Yamani as saying, ''This is our position. We want to defend the $34 benchmark.'' The paper said the official told it he had been misquoted in a recent Kuwaiti newspaper article that suggested Saudi Arabia was willing to discuss lowering the $34 benchmark.