2005 News Story

Foreign Minister urges Iraqi groups to meet

  Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal addresses Arab League committee on Iraq. Courtesy: Arab News

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal in Jeddah today addressed a meeting of an Arab League-affiliated Arab Ministerial Committee to discuss strategy for dealing with the situation in Iraq.

In his remarks, Prince Saud said that formulating a strategy for Arab nations to help Iraq emerge from its current crisis is more urgent than ever, and that efforts to that end should be intensified. He called on all Iraqi factions to hold a meeting under the auspices of the Arab League to reach a broad national consensus on the constitution as well as the participation of all Iraqi groups in the political process. Prince Saud urged the Secretary-General of the Arab League to visit Iraq in order to discuss the idea of such a meeting with the various groups there.

The Kingdom is concerned about the increasing sectarianism in Iraq, Prince Saud said, which will lead to greater divisions and suffering. National interest must take precedence over sectarian interest, and any cause that threatens Iraqi unity should be abandoned, he said. Political mechanisms such as the elections and the constitution should not be a means for dividing the country, but rather a means for achieving national unity.

Prince Saud also appealed for non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs and the need to preserve Iraqi territorial integrity and Arab identity.

Prince Saud spoke out against the use of terrorism in Iraq, saying that it is not in the interests of any of Iraq’s factions or neighboring countries and will only result in destruction and chaos. The result of the battle against terrorism in Iraq will have a great impact on regional stability, he added.