1998 News Story

Media interview with Crown Prince Abdullah

In an interview published today in the Arab-language newspaper Al-Riyadh, Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, declared that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's future prosperity is assured because of the security of its economy, and reiterated that the main concern of the Kingdom's leadership is for the citizens, adding that all projects and systems are working for their benefit. The Crown Prince went on to say: "We are following world events with great care, deepening our friendships and pursuing our interests for the prosperity of our citizens. This has been something which has always been attended to by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz." He added: "The stability of the oil market and the flow of investments will be encouraged and will increase our confidence in the future."

Crown Prince Abdullah reported that his talks with the leaders of the countries he has visited during his current world tour, which has taken him to Great Britain, France, the United States of America, China, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan, have covered economic as well as political issues and ways of enhancing bilateral relations. Confirming that the talks also covered Arab and Islamic issues including that of Jerusalem, he expressed his concern that both the West and the Far East become acquainted with the situation in the Middle East, and that wrong ideas about Islam be corrected. He reiterated that Islam does not tolerate violence; on the contrary, it advocates preservation of life and property. Denouncing the concept that links terrorism with Islam, he declared: "International solidarity to contain terrorism is needed. But the world should first get rid of contradictions, since certain countries complain of terrorism while they harbor terrorist elements."
Referring to the Kingdom's relations with the countries he had visited, Crown Prince Abdullah said that many aspects of trade and economic exchanges already exist with them, but that Saudi Arabia is working for new areas of cooperation. As to the Kingdom's application to join the World Trade Organization, the Crown Prince said: "The responses of all of them are positive, particularly that of the United States of America, whose Secretary of Trade had previously expressed certain reservations. But after discussing the matter with the Vice President, he expressed his understanding of our position and we reached an identical viewpoint in this respect."
Turning to the stability of the oil market, Crown Prince Abdullah stated: "Oil is of great international importance for all those dealing with it, whether producers or consumers. All should seek its stability so that the interests of both sides are preserved. If all concerned abide by the OPEC resolutions, this objective can be met. Regrettably, there are certain OPEC members who do not respect these resolutions. I repeat that the stabilization of oil markets concerns all parties and it is for the benefit of all of them. The non-compliance of some OPEC member states inflicts damage on the international oil market. I wish that a collective effort could be made to reach a binding understanding on quotas of production which are to be respected."
Meanwhile, in the same edition of Al-Riyadh, Pakistani Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz reported that the talks between Crown Prince Abdullah and Pakistani Prime Minsiter Nawaz Sharif were fruitful and constructive. He said the importance of the visit arises from the fact that relations between the two nations are deep-rooted and intimate, describing the reception accorded to Crown Prince Abdullah as proof of the love the Pakistani people have for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Crown Prince and the Saudi people. He noted that the talks covered a number of issues including economic relations and ways to develop them, and international issues such as the situation in Kashmir, developments in Afghanistan, and the Middle East peace process. On all of these issues the viewpoints were identical.