2006 Press Release

Saudi ambassador discusses Osama bin Laden, oil prices at Columbia University

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal today rebuked Osama bin Laden’s latest message and called for increased international cooperation concerning oil prices during a speech at the School of Public and International Affairs at Columbia University in New York City. 

In reference to bin Laden’s recent taped message, Prince Turki remarked: “Osama bin Laden does not speak for Muslims. He does not represent Islam.  His religion is extremism, and his practice is terror.  He leads a cult that is a perversion of a benevolent and peaceful faith.”

Prince Turki continued: “Bin Laden’s ideology is one of hate in which everyone is a target.  Nothing is sacred to this man.  Not age, not race, not religion.  Al-Qaeda will attack Christian, Jew, or Muslim without distinction.  They care only to spread chaos.”

In respect to oil, Prince Turki stated Saudi Arabia’s position and outlined the current reasons for unstable prices: “The Kingdom wants only to act as a steady and balancing force. Because right now, the price of oil is being elevated by a number of issues, including political uncertainty in Iran and Nigeria, a shortage in global refining and shipping capacity, and strong demand from countries like China, India, and the US.” 

Prince Turki continued: “To compensate, the Kingdom is undertaking several initiatives, including both expanding our ability to produce crude oil and building new refineries in the Kingdom and in consuming countries.”

Prince Turki cited the newly opened Haradh increment, which consists of 300,000 barrels per day of Arabian light crude, and five new drilling contracts in the Shaybah field, as examples of the Kingdom’s continuing efforts to expand production capacity.

For a complete transcript of Prince Turki’s remarks, please visit www.saudiembassy.net