1997 News Story

Interior minister reports on Arab meeting

Minister of the Interior Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz at a press conference in Tunis yesterday commented on the positive outcome of the meeting of the interior ministers of the Arab states which had just ended, saying the discussions were successful and the resolutions adopted promising. In response to various questions, he highlighted the fraternal relations that exist between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and specifically, the Arab nations of Yemen, Syria, and Egypt.

Underscoring the importance of cooperation in security matters, he said that the deplorable phenomenon of terrorism "runs counter to any belief or norm, and should be confronted firmly, and combated as a religious, human and national duty", and went on to remark: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been determinedly tackling this phenomenon, although terrorism exists in a very limited manner in the Kingdom and can easily be contained." Prince Nayef reported that the views of the Arab countries on the issue of terrorism are identical, and they are all determined to fight it. A working committee will meet soon to formulate an agreement in this respect.
On the subject of the Al-Khobar explosion, Prince Nayef said investigations are still underway, stating that the Kingdom had neither condemned nor exonerated anybody in the affair, and denying a report that Yemeni authorities had handed over twelve persons involved in the incident.
Referring to the recent case of the murdered Australian nurse, Prince Nayef stated that nobody in Saudi Arabia is forced to make a confession, and noted that confessions are only valid in front of a judge. Wondering why such a row has been raised over this issue, when there have been similar cases in the past, Prince Nayef explained the due process of the law in Saudi Arabia, all the way through the courts to the five-member Supreme Judicial Council. Furthermore, Prince Nayef pointed out that the door is open for all information people to come to the Kingdom and get to know the facts for themselves, not only from officials, but from the citizens.
Turning to the upcoming Ramadan season, Prince Nayef said contacts are underway between the Ministry of Pilgrimage and the concerned authorities in Islamic countries for the organization of issues pertaining to the performance of Umrah, the minor pilgrimage.