2002 Public Statement

Saudi Arabia is not avoiding blame for September 11
a letter to the editor of The Washington Times by Nail A. Al-Jubeir, Deputy Director of the Saudi Arabian Information Office in Washington DC published September, 14, 2002

In response to "Saudi prince denies his country to blame," it seems that the "combined dispatches" did a clever job of parsing words in order to warrant a juicier headline. At no point does Defense Minister Sultan bin Abdul Aziz state that Saudi Arabia accepts no responsibility for the events of September 11, yet that is the lead of your story. The report then goes on to mention "a defensive tone" throughout the Arab world and that "many citizens" still admire al Qaeda, without any trace of a source or background for these blanket statements.

The statement by Prince Sultan was in no way an attempt to avoid blame for September 11. Rather, it was meant to clarify Saudi Arabia's feelings toward all terrorist acts. The kingdom does not support and will never stand for terrorism in any part of the world, including the United States. We have suffered terrorist acts also, and we know the pain these acts can cause for the families of victims. The statement only meant to ask that the world not transpose the actions of a handful of Saudis to the entire nation.

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not support, sponsor or condone violence of any kind in any situation. Our religion, which governs the way we live, condemns it unequivocally. Our leaders condemn it, and they condemn those who so horribly attacked America last September.

We are not denying blame, but simply stating that the acts of a few lost souls should not reflect on an entire nation. We do not equate Timothy McVeigh or David Koresh with the U.S. To do the same to Saudi Arabia does not evidence clear thinking.