MELISSA FRANCIS: WELCOME BACK TO THE CALL. I AM LIVE IN A VERY WINDY BUT BEAUTIFUL OPEC, AUSTRIA, WHERE THE OPEC MEETING KICKS OFF TOMORROW. WE SAT DOWN FOR AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF OPEC AHEAD OF THAT MEETING, ABDALLA EL-BADRI. I ASKED HIM WHERE HE THINKS THE PRICE OF OIL IS GOING AND ALSO IF HE THINKS OPEC HAS THE SAME POWER IT ONCE DID. HERE IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.
ABDALLA EL-BADRI: I THINK IF YOU LOOK BETTER, YOU REALLY CANNOT INVEST BELOW $70. I DON'T $50 WILL PERMIT INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE, SO YOUR TALKING ABOUT ANY, I THINK WE CAN LIVE WITH 75, 85, $90, YOU KNOW, MORE OR LESS, BUT WE DON'T WANT TO SEE A VERY HIGH PRICE, BECAUSE IT IS NOT HONOR IN OUR BUSINESS.
FRANCIS: DOES OPEC STILL HAVE THE SAME POWER IN YOUR MIND, THAT IT ONCE DID? DOES IT HAVE MORE? HOW DO YOU SEE IT?
EL-BADRI: WE DON'T WANT POWER. WHEN THIS WAS CREATED IN BAGHDAD IN 1960 THEY WERE NOT LOOKING FOR POWER THEY WERE LOOKING TO PROTECT THEIR INTEREST, THEY WERE LOOKING TO HAVE A DECENT INCOME, THEY WERE LOOKING TO HAVE A STABLE MARKET, THEY NEVER ASKED TO CONTROL ANYBODY. THIS IS JUST, YOU ASK ANY MINISTER, ANY HEAD OF STATE, THEY DON'T CONTROL IT. THE ONLY THING THEY WANT TO CONTROL, THEIR WEALTH, THEIR RESOURCES.
FRANCIS: THAT MAKES SENSE, I CAN RESPECT THAT, EVERYONE WANTS TO CONTROL THEIR OWN WEALTH AND RESOURCES. MAYBE IS RELEVANCE A BETTER WORD? IS OPEC AS RELEVANT AS IT ONCE WAS? IS THAT A BETTER WORD? NO, LOOKS LIKE THAT IS JUST AS OFFENSIVE.
EL-BADRI: NO I THINK OPEC IS A THIRD WORLD ORGANIZATION BECAUSE IT IS NOT AS A CARTEL AS A LOT OF YOU PEOPLE DESCRIBE IT. WE BEEN HERE FOR 50 YEARS. YOU CANNOT HAVE A CARTEL WHO CAN LIVE -- YOU KNOW 50 YEARS, AND YOU OPEC IS A NORMAL THIRD WORLD ORGANIZATION, WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A CONTROL OF A CONTROL ITS WEALTH AND HAVE ALSO A DECENT INCOME. I HEAR A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING, WHY ARE WE GIVING MONEY TO OPEC? WHY ARE WE BUYING OPEC OIL? I THINK THIS IS THE WRONG NOTION. TO ME IT IS THE WRONG NOTION, BECAUSE 60% OF OUR INCOME, WE SEND IT BACK, WE SEND IT BACK TO THE UNITED STATES, WE SEND IT BACK TO THE EU. BECAUSE WE ARE GONNA BUY A BUS, GOING TO BUY CLOTHES, GOING TO BUY FOOD, SO WHATEVER, IF WE GOT $100 FROM THE CONSUMERS, WE SEND BACK $60. NOT ALL THE MONEY WE ARE GETTING FOR OUR INCOME WE ARE KEEPING IT FOR OUR HOMES, OUR BANKS.
FRANCIS: COMING UP TONIGHT ON CNBC REPORTS AT 8 P.M. EASTERN TIME, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE MORE OF THAT EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW. WE ARE ALSO REPORTING ON ENERGY FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD, AUSTRIA, GERMANY, THE MIDWEST, CALIFORNIA AND TEXAS. WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AS WELL. HOW WIDE THAT IS TAKING SO LONG TO GET OFF THE GROUND, WHERE THE GOOD INVESTMENTS ARE, TONIGHT AT 8 P.M. EASTERN ON CNBC REPORTS. STEVE, BACK TO YOU.
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