1999 News Story

Foreign minister interviewed in Okaz newspaper

In an interview published on Sunday in Okaz, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal

declared that King Muhammad VI of Morocco had demonstrated that there is hope regarding

cooperation among the North African states. He referred to the current tour of Deputy Prime

Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz to

Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia as important, and expressed optimism that a common

understanding will be reached among the countries of the Maghreb.

In yesterday's Okaz, Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika welcomed the Crown Prince's

visit to Algeria, which, he said, would strengthen the dialogue on issues he had earlier

discussed with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz. The Algerian

President expressed his readiness to promote a dialogue with his brother King Muhammad VI

of Morocco on any subject, whatever the difficulties, without any reservations. He affirmed

that Algeria is fully ready to open a new page in its relations with Morocco.
In the interview published on October 10, Prince Saud Al-Faisal also commented on the

newly-formed Higher Economic Council, saying that Saudi Arabia has a comprehensive

long-term strategic vision of the council's objectives, as would soon be made clear. He

remarked that the current oil situation indicated encouragement of investment in the

production and manufacture of natural gas, rather than in exploration for crude oil,

particularly since global reserves of the latter are extensive.  He explained that the

periodic meetings of the Kingdom with Venezuela and Mexico were aimed at preserving the

interests of oil-producing countries both inside and outside OPEC and guaranteeing the

stability of the oil market, and said OPEC's next meeting would focus on forging a

long-term strategy for avoiding price fluctuations.
Commenting on the World Trade Organization (WTO), Prince Saud Al-Faisal stated that

negotiations were continuing. He stressed that joining WTO would yield positive results for

the Saudi economy, and would not at all affect the religious pillars on which the country

stands. He also remarked on the importance of the forthcoming tour of Prince Sultan Bin

Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and

Inspector-General, which will take him to Washington DC, and to Paris, France.