Crown Prince Abdullah’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Adel Al-Jubeir today took strong exception to statements made by Senator Bob Graham on CNN’s Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on Sunday in which the Senator alleged that it is a “...fact that the Saudi Arabians are providing much of the financing for the insurgents in Iraq...” and that Saudi Arabia “...is a country which was a disingenuous ally during September 11, [that] has continued to take steps that are adverse to our interests in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world.”
Mr. Al-Jubeir had the following response to the Senator’s comments:
“Senator Graham has had a distorted view of the Kingdom’s role in the war on terrorism for some time now, and it is becoming increasingly evident that he refuses to acknowledge reality when it is so clearly before him. First, he chaired a Congressional inquiry into the 9-11 events, which was characterized by grandstanding and theatrics rather than reality and fact. Then, when the findings of that inquiry relating to Saudi Arabia were debunked by the 9-11 Commission this past summer, he did nothing to correct the record or acknowledge lapses in his inquiry’s investigation. Instead, he went further, and published a book re-hashing the same arguments already discredited by the 9-11 Commission. These are not the actions of a true statesman, but the irresponsible actions of a person seeking political gain at the expense of the truth. At a time when the civilized world is looking for ways to confront evil threatening its citizens, politics should be cast aside, and hands joined together to defeat evil.
"The truth is that the Kingdom is fighting terrorists, those who support them and those who condone their actions. We do so with vigor because they represent a threat to our citizens and residents. The Kingdom has arrested hundreds of suspects, questioned thousands of others, killed or captured Al-Qaeda members, seized arms caches, and regulated its charities and financial system to ensure that no evil-doers can take advantage of the generosity of our citizens or abuse our financial systems. These new regulations have been attested to by the G-8’s Financial Action Task Force.
"We have also gone after those who incite violence, whether in the Kingdom or in Iraq. We have no choice but to act, because anyone who incites or funds or undertakes violence in Iraq is likely to do so in the Kingdom. And we cooperate closely with a number of countries, including the U.S., in this area. The steps we have taken were made public, and the U.S. and other governments are fully aware of them. But apparently not Senator Graham, who continues to make outlandish and unsubstantiated allegations about Saudi Arabia.
"With regard to Afghanistan, the Kingdom is proud of the role it has provided in supporting the unity and reconstruction of the war-ravaged country by providing one of the largest humanitarian assistance programs by donor countries, including material assistance to the Afghan people, and loans and grants to the Afghan government, to ease the suffering of its people. If alleviating the suffering of the innocent Afghan people and supporting the emergence of a viable Afghan government is regarded as adverse to American interests, when America is encouraging other nations to do the same, then Senator Graham must be out of touch with the reality of his nation’s foreign policy priorities.
"Senator Graham’s distinguished history as a Governor and a Senator leads me to believe that he is motivated by election year politics, and not by beliefs which are clearly wrong."