Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal held a meeting today with the U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The meeting was attended by Prince Bandar Ibn Sultan Ibn Abdulaziz, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs Ismail Al-Shura, and Head of the Western Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khalid Al-Jindan. During the meeting they reviewed the developments in the Middle East, particularly those related to the peace process as well as the current crisis between Iraq and the United Nations.
After the meeting, the following statement was issued:
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, each received the U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during her current visit to the Kingdom.
Regarding the peace process, Mrs. Albright presented a review that dealt with the efforts being exerted by the U.S. Administration aiming to revive the peace process through the resumption of negotiations on the Palestinian-Israeli track and overcome difficulties and obstacles which bar the realization of tangible progress through the assertion of the importance of implementing the commitments agreed upon between the two parties.
The Saudi side expressed appreciation for the efforts rendered by the United States to restore the peace process to its correct track, attributing the obstacles to the arrogant position of the Israeli government and its violation of the well known principles and bases of the peace process in addition to its denial of the commitments it signed with the Palestinian party as per Oslo Accords.
There is no way to save the peace process from its current impasse without the reaffirmation of the United Nations resolutions and the principle of land for peace, and the Israeli government fulfilling its commitments and refraining from unilateral measures. Regarding the current Iraqi crisis, Secretary Albright explained the nature of efforts currently exerted to contain the crisis. She praised Resolution No. 1137 recently issued by the UN Security Council which unanimously condemned the Iraqi violation of the UN Committee work in Iraq, explaining that the United States of America is seeking a diplomatic solution to the current crisis. The Kingdom supported this orientation.
The Saudi side commended the collective international stance demanding the preservation of the committee’s entity which acquired full vote of the Security Council, particularly the permanent members as well as the representative of the Arab group in the Security Council. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, apprehending the sensitivity and seriousness of this situation, calls on the Iraqi Government to respond to the will of the world community expressed by the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1137 and act quickly to cancel its decision of October 29, 1997. Such a response coinciding with Iraq’s full compliance with all Security Council Resolutions constitutes the best way to put an end to the Iraqi people sufferings.