2006 News Story

King Abdullah comments on Iran, Iraq and a new risk-free Saudi fund

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz took questions about a range of issues from reporters following his Monday night address to the Gulf Press Federation’s second General Assembly, currently underway in Riyadh.

On international issues, the King said he did not think the US-Iran standoff over Iran’s nuclear program would lead to military confrontation. “I don’t think that matters will lead to a military confrontation,” he said. “Iran is aware of its right as well as its national and international duty, and America also knows this.”

On Iraq, King Abdullah expressed sadness over the deteriorating situation there, and called on Iraqis to unify and cooperate for the sake of their country. He also pledged Saudi support: “we will be ready to do anything that may serve the interests of Iraq.”

The King said that a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) consultative meeting had agreed to establish a counterterrorism center in Bahrain.

In addition, he expressed the hope that Yemen would one day join the GCC. “Yemen is the origin of the Arabs,” the King said.

Turning to domestic issues, King Abdullah said he plans to establish a risk-free fund for Saudis with limited income who wish to invest in the stock market. The fund would allow a maximum deposit of SR 500,000 [$133,426]. Investors in the fund would be allowed to buy and sell for two years, and if the fund profits, they benefit. If not, then their capital would be preserved.

King Abdullah also urged the press to adhere to Islamic beliefs and morals, and praised them for their role in combating terrorism.