Crown Prince discusses counterterrorism, regional hot spots with Kuwaiti daily

October 23, 2007

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz has stressed the Kingdom’s determination to combat terrorism in all its forms and that counterterrorism efforts should focus not just on security, but on combating the terrorist mindset as well.

The Crown Prince made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview published today in the Arabic-language Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai.

“The Kingdom is determined to continue its policy of fighting all forms of terrorism,” Crown Prince Sultan said. “Saudi Arabia’s view is that dealing with the phenomenon of terrorism should not be confined to the mere security aspect of it but it should also be at the intellectual level, not only in our region but also at the level of the whole world with all its various faiths.”

Asked if the interrogation of terrorism suspects in the Kingdom had found links to groups outside the country, Crown Prince Sultan replied that the Ministry of Interior would announce any findings once the process has been completed.

Turning to the crisis in Iraq, the Crown Prince characterized the situation there as a significant humanitarian tragedy. Saudi Arabia’s policy towards Iraq has always been rooted in the desire to preserve Iraqi lives and maintain the country’s territorial integrity, he said. The Kingdom has repeatedly urged Iraqis to achieve national unity, renounce foreign interference and guarantee equal rights for all regardless of political or ethnic affiliation. The Crown Prince added that Saudi Arabia would continue to exert diplomatic efforts with Arab nations and international organizations in order to help Iraq regain its rightful place in the international community.

Asked to comment on accusations that Saudis are traveling to Iraq to fight, Crown Prince Sultan replied that Saudi Arabia does not permit Saudis to go to Iraq, and that if some citizens are crossing the border they are doing so at locations other than the Saudi-Iraqi border. He remarked that work is scheduled to begin soon on a fence that will run along the border with Iraq to prevent infiltration.

Regarding the situation in Palestine, Crown Prince Sultan said that the Kingdom is concerned by the divisions within the Palestinian ranks which negatively affect their cause.

On the Kingdom’s recent judicial reforms, Crown Prince Sultan said that the new laws embody the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdulaziz’s commitment to development in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi judicial system has long been based on the Shari’ah, and the new laws reflect this adherence to Islamic principles.

Commenting on development in the Kingdom, Crown Prince Sultan highlighted King Abdullah’s focus on education, training and job creation for young Saudis so that they are able to meet the needs of the job market. He noted that the development process remains ongoing.