In an article published today by ‘Time’ magazine, Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, reiterated the importance of the international community, and the USA in particular, taking a firm position to compel Israel to comply with its commitments pertaining to the peace process in the Middle East. The Crown Prince also highlighted the existing strong Saudi-American relations.
In response to a question about charges that he has no friendly attitudes towards the United States, Crown Prince Abdullah said: “Firstly, I am a person who likes to be frank and tell it as it is. We have a saying in our country: ‘Your friend is the one who tells you the truth, not just who believes you.’ Secondly, we cannot deviate from the friendship that was initiated by King Abdul Aziz and President Roosevelt. I assure you that I fully appreciate the strong and deep relations that tie our two countries. There is absolutely no difference between my attitude toward the U.S. and that of King Fahd.”
On the stationing of U.S. forces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Abdullah said: “Our alliance has always been with justice and international legitimacy and against oppression and aggression. If we stand against foreign aggression, it is imperative that we do not accept aggression from our Arab brethren. If we have to face aggression, regardless of its source, it is incumbent on all, both Arabs and non-Arabs, to stand together to confront it.”
On U.S. policy toward Iraq, Crown Prince Abdullah said: “U.S. policy reflects United Nations policy. We hope and demand that Iraq comply fully with all relevant Security Council resolutions for the sanctions to be lifted. We feel the pain of the Iraqi people even more than others do. At the same time, we will not accept the idea of partitioning Iraq.”
On U.S. policy toward Iran, Crown Prince Abdullah said: “I came out of the Islamic Summit in Tehran in December 1997 with a strong impression of their desire for dialogue and to adopt a different approach. I felt that many of them are looking seriously for better ways to emerge from isolation and open a window through which they can reach out to others.”
On the development of democracy in Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Abdullah said: “The establishment of the Consultative Council and the Basic Law of Governance, with the Provincial Councils, is compatible with our values and conditions in the present time. We see a progression in these steps. But we believe that developing these measures must be achieved whilst preserving the social and moral fabric of our people. Our esteem for our people makes us avoid frivolous experimentation with social and political systems that do not emanate from our values and experiences.”