Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz discussed regional crises and Saudi-German relations in a wide-ranging interview published today in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. King Abdullah is currently in Germany for a two-day official visit.
The King called for a peaceful resolution to the standoff between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear file.
“The world fears that Iran’s nuclear program will lead to development of nuclear arms,” King Abdullah said. “Iran has announced that uses of its nuclear program are peaceful. If this is the case, we see no justification for the language of escalation, confrontation and challenge which only complicates matters more.”
He noted that the recent GCC proposal to establish a consortium that would provide uranium to the Middle East is within the framework of such efforts.
“The proposal to build a complex for enriching uranium in a neutral country is part of our diplomatic efforts to solve this crisis peacefully,” the King said. “This proposal is also to ensure building the complex according to the highest standards of human and environmental safety under the supervision and control of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It also ensures supplying countries with enough enriched uranium for their peaceful uses.”
Commenting on the upcoming US-sponsored Middle East peace summit in Maryland, King Abdullah said the conference would be successful if it addresses core issues in a comprehensive manner. “I think that it is time to move from the phase of talking about peace as a process to establishing peace as a reality through real and tangible steps,” the King said.
Turning to Iraq, King Abdullah stressed that national reconciliation is the only way for the country to achieve security and stability. There must be equality for all Iraqis regardless of religion, ethnicity or political affiliation, he said. The King noted that this goal has not yet been achieved, and that Iraqis must redouble their efforts towards unity. In addition, Iraq’s neighbors should promote unity by avoiding dealing with Iraq on a sectarian basis and helping all Iraqis without bias.
Asked about Turkish threats to attack Kurds in northern Iraq, King Abdullah said that Saudi Arabia condemns all forms of terrorism and any cross-border infiltration. He expressed the hope that Turkey and Iraq would work together to stop such acts.
On other issues, King Abdullah expressed concern about the tension in Lebanon and expressed the hope that Syria would act as a peacemaker to achieve unity in Lebanon and Palestine. He also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s reform efforts in various fields and praised Germany’s contributions to international security, peace and human development.