Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal met in Jeddah today with members of the Western diplomatic corps and representatives of foreign communities in the Kingdom. In his address, he reiterated the Kingdom's condolences to the victims of the recent acts of terrorism, and stressed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the security and safety of resident foreigners. Pointing out that religion, heritage and tradition call for protecting non-Muslims who are under agreement with Muslims, he declared that all Saudi citizens are shocked at what is happening in the Kingdom, since these acts are alien to them and contrary to the principles of Islam.
Prince Saud went on to state that in order to confront and eradicate this exceptional circumstance, the Kingdom has pursued strict policies and security measures. Many terrorists have been killed or arrested; those who are still fugitives are being hunted down. The Kingdom, he said, has had considerable success in confronting these terrorists and foiling their plans; thanks to a studied strategy, many acts of terrorism have been aborted.
Most of the questions that followed Prince Saud’s address dealt with issues of foreigners staying in the country, not the logistics of departure. Prince Saud reiterated that foreigners will continue to be treated as honorable guests. The scourge of terrorism, he said, is one that threatens not only the Kingdom, but the whole world. To fight it, the infrastructure must be eradicated, and this infrastructure is present even in Western countries. To a question on foreigners carrying weapons, he confirmed what Interior Minister Prince Nayef had said recently, that permission to carry weapons is granted to all who meet the conditions for obtaining the license.