U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell reiterated on Sunday the full support of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and praised the cooperation that exists between the two countries in the war on terrorism. In three different televised interviews Secretary Powell declared that Saudi Arabia is mobilizing all its resources to eliminate terrorism, adding that the recent spate of killings of foreigners is a direct attack against the Saudi economy.
Meanwhile, National Security Adviser to the U.S. President Condoleezza Rice also praised the current cooperation between the two countries in combating terrorism on all fronts. In a TV interview yesterday, she praised the steps taken by the Kingdom in the war on terrorism, citing the success of Saudi security authorities in eliminating a large number of terrorist cells.
CNN Late Edition's Wolf Blitzer asked Dr. Rice to comment on an early draft of a Council on Foreign Relations report charging that the Bush administration “has done very little to push the implementation of [Saudi] rules and regulations.”
Dr. Rice said: “That was factually incorrect. ...... There are a number of elements to cooperation on terrorism. Of course, law enforcement, intelligence cooperation, but also on the financing of terrorism. We have to remember that the Saudis, like many others in the world, didn’t fully understand the extent to which these non-governmental organizations ... were really terrorist-financing fronts. And the Saudis have gone a long way in recent months, including designating Al-Haramain, one of the organizations we have been most concerned about, to try and deal with this problem."
“It’s simply wrong to suggest that there has not been good cooperation with the Saudis,” Dr. Rice continued. “It is possible, of course, to do more, and we will do more, but this is an area in which we’ve made a lot of progress over the last several months and really over the last year or so.”