U.A.E.’s Long-Standing Oil Minister Replaced
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ Mana Saeed Otaiba, one of the longest serving oil ministers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was replaced Tuesday in a cabinet reshuffle in the United Arab Emirates.
Otaiba was replaced as minister of petroleum and mineral wealth with the little known Yousef bin Omeir bin Yousef.
Other changes among the 24-member cabinet involve a new deputy premier and new ministers in charge of foreign affairs, the interior, the economy and commerce, labor and social affairs, information, education and justice.
Otaiba was the longest serving OPEC minister after Ahmed Zaki Yamani of Saudi Arabia, who served for a quarter of a century before he was removed in 1986.
Otaiba, a poet born in 1946, first attended OPEC meetings as representative of the Abu Dhabi emirate from 1969 to 1971. In 1971, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and five other emirates united in the U.A.E. and Otaiba was selected as the first federal oil minister.
The oil minister’s poetry expressed an outspoken stand on the politics of the oil market through verse.
Otaiba repeatedly walked out of OPEC meetings in protest against what he usually described as unfair stands against his oil-rich country.
Sources said his replacement is an American-educated national who is a senior official at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, ADIA, and a board member in the Abu Dhabi Insurance Co.
Yousef is the son of a leading U.A.E. businessman, said the sources, who refused to be named.
Abu Dhabi is the leading oil producer in the U.A.E., which now produces 2.3 million barrels per day.