At a press conference in Abu Dhabi today, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal denied that Saudi Arabia had borrowed from the United Arab Emirates in order to eliminate deficits in its upcoming annual budget, stressing that the Kingdom "depends on itself through its internal sources such as local banks and the private sector". Referring to Crown Prince Abdullah's speech today, he emphasized that it was directed to all Gulf citizens, not just to Saudis. He expressed the hope that there would be true interaction in accordance with what the Crown Prince spelled out in his speech, especially concerning a joint Gulf market. Highlighting the Crown Prince's remarks pertaining to security, he stressed the Kingdom's concern about this issue, and expressed pleasure at the signing of the Arab anti-terrorism agreement. Concerning Iraq, he commented that the Crown Prince had a straightforward approach that reflects the Kingdom's view that the responsibility for lifting the sufferings of the Iraqi people is on the Iraqi regime. Iraq must recognize that by invading an Arab nation [in 1990], it violated the charter of the League of Arab States as well as joint defense treaties.
Speaking of the GCC's achievements since its establishment, Prince Saud stressed that it has accomplished a great deal, including unification of laws and regulations, both civil and military. He described the presence at the summit of South African President Nelson Mandela as an honor, referring to him as a leader who has struggled throughout his life for the benefit of his people, and who has gained worldwide respect for his excellent character. In addition, the presence of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expresses the GCC's support for this world body.
Turning to the nomination of Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi to the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Prince Saud noted his good qualifications and experience, and expressed the belief that he would ensure positive results for its work and its ability to move forward in the current era.