2003 News Story

Crown Prince expresses belief in peace to Jenadriyah guests

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz held a reception in Riyadh today for guests - scientists, intelligentsia, men of letters and journalists from the Kingdom and abroad - who are attending the 18th Jenadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture. In his address, the Crown Prince stressed that the time requires not only unity of Arab and Muslim nations but wisdom: deep thinking on internal and external affairs, self-control, and meaningful and well-intentioned words in order to illuminate the truth.

Answering a question on the possibility of a war against Iraq, Crown Prince Abdullah declared: "Undoubtedly, all indications suggest a war. But, I personally believe - and God knows best - that there will be no war. This is my personal belief. I have not heard anything and nobody has told me anything at all. Iraq is dear to us. Iraq is part of the Arab and Islamic world. Iraq's old people, its young men, women and children will be hurt if there is a war. This is what I believe. Everyone knows that wars benefit no one: on the contrary, the perpetrator and the target, both lose. But, we pray to God that what I expect, will in fact happen: that is, no war will take place, even though I see fleets: God willing, there will be no war."

On whether there is currently an initiative to prevent war against Iraq, Crown Prince Abdullah commented: "If, God forbid, the powers at the United Nations approve a war, the Arabs will demand from the United Nations that they be given a chance to come to an understanding with their brethren in Iraq. This is what the Arabs demand. I pray to God for the best."

Concerning his Middle East peace initiative adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut last year, Crown Prince Abdullah remarked that it still stands, but added that Saudi Arabia had sent further proposals to its fellow Arab countries, which he hoped would be accepted.