2005 News Story

Crown Prince Sultan discusses Middle East, Iraq, terrorism in AP interview

  Crown Prince Sultan

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz gave a wide-ranging interview to the Associated Press in New York on Friday. On the Arab-Israeli conflict, Crown Prince Sultan said that Israel should withdraw from more occupied Arab lands after withdrawing from Gaza, and indicated that there can be no change in the Arab stance on Israel unless the occupation ends. He noted that Arabs have reiterated their commitment to a just and lasting peace with the peace plan initiated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, which Arab leaders adopted in 2002.

“We have followed the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza very closely,” Crown Prince Sultan said. “This withdrawal should be followed by further withdrawals from Palestinian and Arab territory occupied since 1967, and lead to the realization of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Turning to Iraq, Crown Prince Sultan expressed the hope that the country will be able to overcome its differences and stressed Iraq's links to the Arab world.

“The most important thing is Iraq’s unity and Arab identity, as well as the preservation of its sovereignty, stability and territorial integrity and guaranteed rights for all Iraqis, regardless of sect or political affiliation,” he said.

Commenting on the fight against terrorism, the crown prince stressed that failure to reach an internationally agreed-upon definition should not prevent a collective international counter-terrorism effort. He also noted that any effort to deal with extremism must include an intellectual as well as a security approach.