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Saudi Arabia Calls For Meeting Of Oil Producers, Consumers

Saudi Arabia Monday called for a meeting between oil producers and consumers to discuss what officials there call the "unjustified" rise in oil prices.

The price of a barrel of oil for future delivery rose to record highs above $139 in Friday's trading, but eased down a bit since then.

Officials in oil-exporting nations blame high prices on political tensions and speculation, not on a shortage of crude oil.

But U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson expressed a different view in television interviews, blaming rising oil prices on rising demand, rather than actions by investors.

U.S. President George Bush said he is concerned about high oil prices and the economy. He also said a strong dollar helps the U.S. and global economies. He plans to discuss currencies and other issues with leaders during his current trip to Europe.

Mr. Bush said the long-term health of the U.S. economy will be reflected in the value of the dollar, and noted that U.S. capital markets are some of the deepest and most liquid in the world.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.