2004 News Story

Crown Prince receives U.S. presidential envoy James Baker

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz received in Riyadh today current U.S. presidential envoy James Baker. Following the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal issued a statement that under discussion was the reconstruction of Iraq, and that the two sides had agreed this necessitates a substantial debt reduction as soon as possible after the emergence and international recognition of the Iraqi government. In that context, the Crown Prince expressed Saudi Arabia's concern for Iraq’s stability and prosperity, and for its territorial sovereignty. In this respect, the Kingdom was among the largest contributors in the recent Madrid Conference. Regarding the Iraqi debt to the Saudi government, the Crown Prince affirmed the Kingdom’s readiness to enter into negotiations with the other principal Iraqi creditors for its substantial reduction. The results of these negotiations would have to be endorsed by the internationally recognized Iraqi government, hopefully during the current year of 2004, although what constitutes "substantial debt reduction" is subject to agreement among the creditors.