Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz left Vienna today after a three-day State visit to Austria. Prior to his departure for Morocco, he held further talks with Austrian President Thomas Klestil. During his visit he also met with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan; Director-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Sulaiman bin Jassim Alharbash; and Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero Waldner.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal held a press conference yesterday, and read a statement that included the following:
"In the political sphere, both sides expressed their great concern regarding the unilateral policies and practices of Israel in the occupied territories; the repression, persecution and targeted assassination in an effort to scuttle the peace process before it even starts. This was done in the hope of creating new realities in the occupied territories and making any renewed negotiation futile: by voiding the ‘roadmap’ of its content, which is the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel with responsibilities on both sides, while at the same time refusing the Arab peace process as a means to define the end goal of the ‘roadmap’, that is, peace between all the Arab States and Israel. Both countries agree that there is a great prospect for the peace process to be achieved through joint action and demarches between the Arab countries and the European Union.
“Saudi Arabia also stressed the unity of Iraq and the respect of its sovereignty and independence. It also emphasized the great importance in sustaining the central role of the United Nations in Iraq, especially in the transitional period, including the transfer of power to the people of Iraq within the proposed timeframe, and on the foundation of national solidarity other than on sectarian or ethnic bases. The Austrian side expressed appreciation for the efforts that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia exerted in the endeavor of fighting terrorism, particularly in the area of destroying its infrastructure. Both sides agreed to the necessity of international cooperation in fighting terrorism, money laundering, and narcotic traffic, since they are sides of the same coin. This gives an indication of the extent and depth of the discussion that was held by the Saudi and Austrian delegations."