2006 News Story

Saudi Ambassador comments on Abqaiq attack, Iraq, Hamas

The Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal discussed a range of issues in an interview today with CNN International’s “Your World Today” co-host Zain Verjee, including last week’s attack on the Abqaiq oil facility and related developments, the newly elected Hamas leadership, and the situation in Iraq.

Prince Turki said that the failed Abqaiq attack has shown that Saudi Arabia can protect its oil facilities. “All our oil facilities have various perimeters of defense and we’ve deployed more than 15,000 men to protect the oil facilities, along with other technical and high-tech detection systems to protect the oil facilities,” Prince Turki said. “Al hamdulillah, this latest attack has proven that we can do that.”

He also noted that Al-Qaeda’s leader in Saudi Arabia, Fahd Aljuweir, was killed in a raid in connection with the attack on the Abqaiq facility. “The security forces in the Kingdom are now the ones who are on the initiative,” he said. “They are interdicting and preventing these people [the terrorists] from doing harm.”

Asked if the Kingdom plans to fund the Palestinian Authority with a newly elected Hamas leadership, Prince Turki replied that Saudi Arabia has always provided humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people through international organizations such as the UN and the World Bank. “If there is a need to increase [the aid] to meet humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, we will definitely consider it,” he said.

Commenting on the situation in Iraq, Prince Turki said that the Kingdom supports Iraqis’ efforts to achieve unity. “Definitely the Iraqi people are looking to the future,” he said, noting that the country’s political leadership has agreed in principle to a national unity government. “This is what we are supporting.”

Transcript of the interview