Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz last night held a press conference following the announcement of the winner of King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam. At the press conference, Crown Prince Sultan denied reports that King Abdullah was planning to undertake a ministerial re-shuffle, change some governors, and increase the number of the administrative regions in the country. The Crown Prince said that he “would like to confirm that these reports, in this respect, are untrue."
On the Syria-Lebanon issue, the Crown Prince said that Saudi Arabia is a friend of all Arabs and Muslims, and it will spare no effort in the service of the Arab and Muslim causes. Crown Prince Sultan refuted reports which said that the Saudi women are deprived of their rights, and said "Islam has recognized the rights of the women, and will follow the teachings Islam in this respect".
On demands for the right of women to drive cars, the Crown Prince said "we will study the issue when it is demanded by the fathers, husbands and brothers."
Crown Prince Sultan expressed optimism about the future of the country and said King Abdullah has made clear the Kingdom's policy transparent through the 8th five-year development plan and through the State's general budget.
The Crown Prince Sultan said the Saudi stand vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear program does not differ from what was mentioned in the communiqué of the Gulf Cooperation Council summit, and added "with the grace of Almighty God, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is capable of enhancing its security and protecting its people and properties as long as it is following the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah [teachings of the Prophet]."
On relations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the Crown Prince reiterated the support of the Saudi and Gulf people to their Yemeni brethren, and highlighted the significant role being played by the Saudi-Yemeni Coordination Council in enhancing relations with Yemen.
The Crown Prince also noted that Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) will be privatized and government control will be divested in a few years.