2004 Public Statement

Crown Prince says terrorist hold is over, Saudi security strong
In an interview with Kuwaiti newspaper ‘Alseyassah’ published on August 16, 2004

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in an interview published today in Kuwait’s daily newspaper ‘Alseyassah’, affirmed that security in Saudi Arabia is very strong, and that the hold of terrorism is over. All that is being done now, he said, is “mopping up”, and declared: “We have gone directly to the head of the snake to cut it off and we know that the tail consists of misled people …… with whom we know how to deal and bring back to their senses."  He commented that the majlis [public receptions] held by the Kingdom’s senior officials are open to all citizens, who present their opinions spontaneously, and which are transparent to the entire world, reflecting the extent to which the citizenry and its leadership are in full solidarity, especially today when abnormal events have been afflicting the country.

Crown Prince Abdullah confirmed that although the acts of terrorism have had some negative impact, they have given impetus to the economy by uniting the people. The number of factories is increasing, and the petroleum, natural gas and petrochemical sectors are expanding. Although certain writers, he said, have evoked a wave of pessimism over the past two years, on the pretext that the security authorities had lost control over the domestic front, the situation is now clear. Saudi Arabia, he said, is like many countries – the United States included – who have had to face internal violence and organized crime; but the Kingdom has successfully overcome the threat.

On the current soaring oil prices, he affirmed that it is not in Saudi Arabia’s interest to cause harm to the global economy, and reiterated the Kingdom’s view that the ideal price range is between $25 and $30 a barrel. The giant oil companies, he said, must take responsibility for the current price hikes, citing unnecessary hoarding and stock transaction practices. All Saudi Arabia can do, he declared, is to increase its daily production rate, otherwise “the matter is out of our control as an oil producer”. Asked about the upcoming Saudi budget, he confirmed there would be a surplus, which will be directed first to repayment of domestic public debt, and then to further development. On Iraq, he expressed the hope that it would come out of its current regrettable turmoil as soon as possible, referring to the situation as “regrettable and painful”, and reiterating the Kingdom’s proposal for an Islamic contingent under the supervision of the United Nations to be sent to Iraq.