2001 News Story

Interior minister comments on Canadian situation

Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, prior to his departure from Manama yesterday following the one-day consultative meeting of the interior ministers of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), commented on criticisms of Saudi Arabia that have appeared in British and Canadian newspapers, saying: "Each country has the right to implement the laws that suit it". The Kingdom, he emphasized, is determined to continue to implement Shariah (Islamic law), and, pointing out that divine laws are above those made by man, declared: "It is the duty of others to respect the option we have chosen."

Prince Nayef confirmed that the campaign launched against Saudi Arabia by the Canadian press, together with a statement by the foreign minister of Canada on this matter, were the reason for the cancellation of the visit to Ottawa by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. Crown Prince Abdullah, he said, "embodies the sovereignty and dignity of the Kingdom, which will never bow its head before any form of blackmail". Press campaigns and statements by officials, he reiterated, will not force the Kingdom to change its position, which is to treat all residents, Saudi and non-Saudi, in the same manner, saying: "We treat everyone equally, irrespective of nationality".