2002 Press Release

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responds to false Israeli charges
His Royal Highness Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, today responded to false Israeli charges that the Kingdom funds terrorist activities, and issued the following statement:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regards allegations made by Israel in connection to funding of terrorist activities, “totally baseless and false.”

These allegations are a smokescreen intended to distract attention away from the peace process.  Israel wants to discredit Saudi Arabia, which has been a leading voice for peace and the catalyst for a peace plan that has been positively received by more than 60 world leaders, including the President of the United States.  The Israelis, it appears, have not come to Washington to talk about peace, but rather to undermine those who want peace negotiations.

The recently adopted Arab League peace plan contains everything the Israeli people longed for, including the recognition of Israel, a guarantee of regional security and normalization of relations – if Israel agrees to withdraw from occupied Arab lands.  The question is:  When will Prime Minister Ariel Sharon take “Yes” for an answer?

Saudi Arabia wants peace and has worked with the United States to bring our collective leadership and resources to bear on ending the terrible cycle of violence and killing of innocent civilians on both sides.  Rather than join in with the rest of the world’s leadership, Sharon is trying to deflect attention from the main issue at hand: his refusal to withdraw from occupied Arab lands.

Sharon’s charges against Saudi Arabia are shameful and counterproductive.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly and unequivocally condemned terrorism and has affirmed its full support and cooperation in the international coalition to combat terrorist organizations and activities.  Saudi Arabia strongly condemns all acts of terrorism, which contravene all religious values and human civilized concepts.

Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has said unambiguously - “no honorable man would accept terrorism.”  Saudi Arabia does not support or contribute to terrorism.  We never have, and we never will.  Terrorism is against our religion and culture, and we have been victims of it for the past four decades.  We monitor all financial transactions to ensure that no money goes to evildoers.

The Crown Prince has reiterated: “Any sane man who believes in God and understands the everlasting message of Islam, stands opposed to terrorism as a crime against all humanity.  We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are fully prepared to cooperate in every manner to bring about an end to the scourge of terrorism.”

According to the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulema [Religious Scholars] Shaikh Abdulaziz Al-Ashaikh, “the killing of innocent people and shedding of blood constitute a form of injustice that cannot be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts.”

The Kingdom is committed to helping the 3 million Palestinians who are victimized by Israeli violence, and who are facing the toughest circumstances ever in their history due to the killings, displacements, imposition of starvation and siege, and destruction of homes and farms, instigated by the occupying Israeli forces.  This help includes financial assistance to the families of victims, distributed through humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations, the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.

This does not mean that Saudi Arabia is paying suicide bombers.  That is a totally false assertion.  The people of Saudi Arabia are providing money to restock hospitals that have no medicines, to rebuild schools, to restore electricity and telephones and to put food on the table of thousands of starving families.  We are proud of that support and that we join with other nations, including the United States, who are providing relief efforts through the same humanitarian channels as Saudi Arabia.