1997 News Story

Prince Nayef at GCC interior ministers conference

Interior Minister Prince Nayef Ibn Abdul Aziz returned yesterday from Doha where he led the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the 16th conference of the interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. Prior to his departure from Qatar, Prince Nayef held a press conference in which he stated that the biased and unfair campaigns launched by certain international organizations and the western media against the member states of the GCC are no longer confined to the executive authorities, but are covering the judicial systems in these countries, that is, they are directed against the Islamic judicial system, against Islamic Shari'ah. He added: "These campaigns are not only a matter of concern for us, but they are a matter of concern for Muslims throughout the world. If others want us to respect them, then they should respect us, and respect our judicial system and sovereignty. Those who criticize Islam should do so plainly and frankly so as to dot the i's and cross the t's".

Concerning the explosion at Al-Khobar Towers, Prince Nayef said that the facts have now been collected by the concerned security organs but the investigation is not yet complete. As soon as it is, then the facts will be announced.

Commenting on the outcome of the 16th conference of the GCC interior ministers, Prince Nayef said that it was positive, but added: "it should be very clear that we in the GCC member states view the citizen himself as the first line of security and so each citizen should shoulder and cooperate with the concerned authorities to enhance the pillars of security". Prince Nayef went on to say that the issue of unification of passports and the facilitation of movement from one member state to another by identity card had been discussed, and a decision taken, but that certain technical matters required completion.

On his arrival in Doha on Saturday for the two-day conference, Prince Nayef reiterated the importance of these periodic meetings of the GCC interior ministers, saying they contribute positively to enhancing cooperation and coordination among the various security organs, and remarking on the importance of confronting phenomena alien to the traditions and values of the Arab Gulf societies so as to preserve the purity of the people in the GCC member states and to protect their development. In an address at the opening of the conference, Prince Nayef said: "We, after God, rely on our Islamic faith to attain advancement and development", adding: "One of our present priorities is to deal with the problem of terrorism which is facing the entire world and not merely this region or the Arab world alone. Such terrorist acts are rejected by our religion and morals."