Crown Prince Abdullah’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Adel Al-Jubeir, in an interview broadcast tonight on MSNBC’s ‘Hardball’, told Chris Matthews that he believes the arrest of Abu Faraj Al-Libbi is without doubt a significant development, commenting: “Anytime you catch one of the operations people of Al-Qaeda it is a significant step forward … and I believe that this is a very big blow for the organization.” Remarking that he had no idea where Osama bin Laden might be, he urged patience and persistence in the fight against terrorism.
Asked what he thought about the U.S. decision to go into Iraq, Mr. Al-Jubeir declared that that is water under the bridge and the most important thing is to look to the future, commenting: “Monday morning quarterbacking does not make sense.” On an alleged statement by the head of the Supreme Judicial Council Shaikh Salih Al-Luheidan calling upon young Saudis to fight against the Americans in Iraq, Mr. al-Jubeir referred to the statement issued by the Shaikh challenging the tape that was attributed to him, and declared: “Our Chief Justice has been very consistent and very public in condemning terrorism and the killing of the innocent.” On the views of Saudi citizens regarding Iraq, most people, he said, want the situation there to stabilize, to allow Iraq to remain united and to begin the process of national reconstruction. “The sooner the Iraqis can take control of their destiny”, he said, “the better it will be for their future as well as for ours because we live right next door to them.”
Turning to energy, Mr. Al-Jubeir listed several reasons for increased prices: the global demand for oil, concerns about stability in oil-producing nations, constraints on refining capacity, and intense market speculation. But, he said, there is no shortage in the physical supply of crude oil, commenting: “We believe there is enough crude available to satisfy the world’s demand for it.” He affirmed that Saudi Arabia has increased its output, and has additional capacity should its customers need more, with over 100 years of reserves to draw on.