Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said his country would not recognize Iraqi delegates at this week’s meeting of OPEC leaders in Vienna. “We don’t recognize a quote-unquote government under occupation,” Chavez said. The Venezuelan president was an outspoken critic of the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Most other leaders in the oil cartel have been more welcoming to emerging Iraqi leaders. Arab League foreign ministers let the Governing Council take Iraq’s seat at a recent meeting in Cairo, and seven of the league’s members are in OPEC. Iraq is counting on a quick resumption of oil exports to help pay for rebuilding, and reintegration into OPEC is expected to be crucial.
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