Saudi Arabia issued a statement today to the effect that the Kingdom is following with great concern the news regarding United States Congress legislation on the U.S. Foreign Relations Authorization Act for the year 2003, which includes a section that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes in the importance of bringing about peace in the Middle East, and supports the international efforts led by the United States of America to achieve a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the security and stability of all countries of the region; and therefore views this decision as contradicting the will of the United Nations and incompatible with Security Council resolutions 252 of 1968, 267 of 1969, 271 of 1969, and 298 of 1971, all of which call for the cancellation of any proceeding that would lead to an alteration to the status quo in Jerusalem. It also fully contradicts UN resolutions 465, 476, and 478 of 1980, which clearly state that Israeli laws considering Jerusalem as the unified capital of Israel are null and void. Moreover, the U.S. Congress decision goes against the stated policy of the United States.
Given the current very critical circumstances, the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was expecting that procedures and positions taken by any party would be compatible with the course of supporting the peace process in the Middle East. The Kingdom is therefore surprised by this decision, which it sees as sending the wrong message to Israel, encouraging it to further harden its extremist policies and procedures against the Palestinians, the United Nations, and the UN resolutions. The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is nevertheless confident that the U.S. administration under the leadership of President George W. Bush will take the necessary steps towards achieving what had previously been announced: namely, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the Palestinian Arab territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with the status of Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] to be determined at the final stage through negotiations between the two sides.
Meanwhile, the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) today also denounced the U.S. Congress decision, expressing profound concern over negative repercussions that would be detrimental to the peace process in the Middle East in general and the Palestinian issue in particular, and urging influential world powers to put pressure on Israel to comply with the UN resolutions and withdraw from the Palestinian territories, including the holy city of Al-Quds [East Jerusalem], in order to facilitate the achievement of a fair and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. In a similar denunciation today, the Muslim World League (MWL) attested to the fact that all historical and UN documents confirm that Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic and not a Hebrew city.