UAE ‘Ready to Back Venezuela’s Return to Kimberley Process’

140 95 Rapaport News

RAPAPORT… The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is prepared to support Venezuela’s attempt
to return to the Kimberley Process (KP), The National reported, citing
Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
and the new chairman of the KP.

Bin Sulayem’s comments follow
a series of meetings in the South American nation, whose “arc of minerals” near
the borders with Colombia, Brazil and Guyana have the potential to produce
billions of carats of diamonds, according to the UAE daily.

“There is still some way to go but my meetings have convinced me that
Venezuela is serious about rejoining the process,” the newspaper cited Bin
Sulayem as saying. “I hope they will go further and play a leadership role in
helping resolve other outstanding issues in the diamond business.”

Venezuela suspended
itself from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
in 2008 after diamantaires
in the country were accused of trafficking in uncertified diamonds to evade
domestic export taxes.

Bin Sulayem was told at meetings
with the country’s Minister of Oil and Mining, Eulogio Del Pino, and Central
Bank president Nelson Merentes, that Venezuela wished to return to the KP and resume
diamond trading as soon as possible, the report said. KP members will hold a
formal review visit to Venezuela in March that could lead to the country returning
to the global diamond industry by the end of the year.

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