Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal met with US President George W. Bush at the White House today. Following the meeting, Prince Saud gave assurances that the viewpoints of the two sides are identical in seeking to eradicate the scourge of terrorism from the world. In this context, he said, the aim is to find the criminals, who have no regard for human life, Muslim or non-Muslim. Pointing out that the recent terrorist acts are as much against the Islamic World as against the United States, he described the goal of international terrorism as driving a wedge between the Islamic World and all other civilized peoples. He stressed that Saudi Arabia and the United States are in full agreement on the need to combat that goal; it is a fact that it is not in the interest of Muslims to have a struggle among international groups.
Regarding the inclusion of Saudi names in the published list of the suspects, Prince Saud commented that haste in publishing the names of suspects has been acknowledged, and that it has been proven that five of the people listed had nothing to do with what happened, adding: "We very much hope that before being published, information, names and pictures will be verified."
With regard to the Middle East, Prince Saud said: "I was pleased to listen to President Bush saying, even before I started to discuss with him developments in the Middle East, that the United States would proceed with its follow-up of the Middle East peace process."
In response to a question on the Kingdom exerting effort to convince Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement to extradite suspects, Prince Saud said Saudi Arabia has tried in the past but not succeeded, adding: "Now, we see Pakistan also using its good offices in this regard. We hope that the Taliban will be wise and surrender the culprits to face justice."