1998 News Story

Prince Bandar comments on White House meeting

At a press conference following the meeting of Prince Abdul Aziz Ibn Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz with President Clinton at the White House yesterday, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar Ibn Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz answered a number of questions about the essence of the meeting and its message, saying that the meeting was positive, and that Prince Abdul Aziz had delivered a message from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz on issues of mutual interests, both bilateral and regional.

As to whether Jerusalem was discussed, Prince Bandar said:  "We expressed our anxiety on how sensitive and dangerous the situation in the Middle East is at the moment.  And the Middle East and the Arab world are looking for the continued leadership of President Clinton and the United States of America, because that is an essential element to having peace in our region."
In answer to a question on whether the administration is not paying enough attention to the current deterioration of the peace process, Prince Bandar gave his opinion that the President and his administration had invested a lot of effort and prestige, and that the blame "falls squarely on the lap of the reckless behavior of Prime Minister Netanyahu".  He added that it is not a question of Netanyahu being, or not being, a hardliner, "because Begin, and Rabin, and Shamir were not pussycats, either", pointing out that three agreements were reached with these Israeli Prime Ministers, including Camp David. "This Prime Minister" stated Prince Bandar "is unique.  He is not constructive, and he's reckless in his behavior, and I think the Israeli and Arab people may pay a heavy price if that reckless behavior does not stop."   Asked what the administration should do, he said "I wouldn't be a diplomat if I told you."