Thank you Mr. Secretary.
Today’s announcement is an important one, because it represents another victory in the war against terror. It also reflects the extent of the strong cooperation between our two governments. Both of our countries are targets of Al-Qaeda, and as a consequence both the Saudi and the American people live under the threat of terror attacks. Today we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in this war against evil.
[link to press release on designations]
The Kingdom is locked in a mortal combat with a vicious and cruel enemy we are determined to defeat. The objective of Al-Qaeda is to destabilize our country, overthrow the established order, and replace it with a Taliban-like regime that can control the cradle of Islam and a quarter of the world’s oil.
But they will not succeed. This is a war that we will not lose. We owe it to our people to rid our country and the world of the scourge of terror. And, with the help of God Almighty, we shall succeed.
We have arrested over 600 terror suspects; many of the top Al-Qaeda leaders in the Kingdom have been killed or captured. And scores of cells and training camps have been uncovered and destroyed before they could do any harm to the innocent.
But this is not enough. We are not only going after the terrorists, but also the money and the mindset that support them or condone their actions, regardless of where they exist.
In addition to the designations we are making today, we have also taken bold steps to change our laws to ensure that no funds intended to help those less fortunate end up in the hands of evildoers. Charity is noble, and a requirement of our faith. And donors must be assured that the money they give to help others is not diverted for evil purposes.
Saudi Arabia is also taking aggressive action to purge extremist thought from our society. Our faith, Islam, is a religion of peace and tolerance and inclusion. King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah have pledged to uproot the sources of extremism wherever they may exist. And with the help of God Almighty, we shall do so.
Today’s designations are a visible result of months of hard work by Saudi and U.S. officials from across many departments. They are the result of the close cooperation that exists between our two countries, which – contrary to the pontifications of some observers – has actually been strengthened since September 11. Today, Saudi authorities and their U.S. counterparts work side by side in teams dedicated to fighting terrorism and unraveling the worldwide financial networks that support it. Where we once shared information across oceans, we now share it across a desk. The effectiveness of our cooperative efforts is unprecedented and has led to today’s actions. And we expect more to come.
In conclusion, I would like to commend the Bush Administration and the many vigilant members of the Saudi and American law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as officials from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and the U.S. Treasury Department for their tireless efforts. The sacrifices these brave individuals have made allow us to enjoy the benefits of security and peace.