1997 News Story

Prince Sultan on State visit to Italy

Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz. Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General, today delivered to Italian President Oscar Scalfaro a message from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz.   Prince Sultan is on a four-day state visit to Rome, accompanied by Minister of State Dr. Musaid Ibn Muhammad Al-Eiban, Assistant Foreign Minister Abdulrahman Mansouri, Acting Undersecretary for Industrial Affairs at the Ministry of Industry and Electricity Osama Hamza Abu Ghirara, and Undersecretary for Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce Abdulaziz Al-Jasser.

On his departure from Jeddah, Prince Sultan advised the media not to think that his visits abroad were always weapons-related, and stated that the aim of his European tour was first to cement bilateral relations and second to highlight the honorable position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Fahd and his Crown Prince, concerning the Middle East.

At a press conference in Rome on Tuesday, Prince Sultan declared that the Saudi and Italian views are identical with respect to the importance of realizing a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and reiterated the concern of the Arab world to implement the agreements reached in Madrid, Oslo, and Washington.  Prince Sultan attributed the stalemate of the peace process to Netanyahu's irrational policy, and urged the international community, particularly the United States, Russia and the countries of the European Union, to shoulder their historical responsibility concerning implementation of the peace agreement that was signed by the two sides, Palestinian and Israeli.  Prince Sultan went on to deplore the phenomenon of terrorism and violence, making it clear that Saudi Arabia is against those who work to end the existence of Israel, as much as against the fact that Israel is working to end the existence of neighboring Arabs.   Turning to the existing economic cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Italy, Prince Sultan said there are currently 27 Italian companies operating in the Kingdom.

In addition to meeting with President Scalfaro, Prince Sultan met separately with the Italian Prime Minister, and with the Interior, Foreign, and Defense Ministers.  At a reception in his honor, Prince Sultan expressed thanks to the Italian people and government for the generous hospitality he strongly felt during his visit.   He referred to the great responsibilities which Saudi Arabia is shouldering, and drew attention to the Kingdom's policy that is based on the principles of defending justice and peace in all parts of the world in the service of society and mankind everywhere.  In this respect he declared that Italy and Saudi Arabia share absolute agreement on human freedom and fair rights for all people.  

On another occasion, Prince Sultan expressed satisfaction over his visit to Italy, and recalled the meetings King Fahd held with President Scalfaro during his recent visit to the Kingdom, saying that visit had left good vibrations and now all concerned are following the best way to serve the two countries.   Prince Sultan praised Italy's foreign policy, particularly that towards the Arab and Muslim worlds, remarking that we are all in the same boat, to serve human beings and defend their rights.  Concerning the peace process, Prince Sultan again called for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions as well as the Madrid, Oslo and Washington agreements.