In a question and answer session following his remarks, Prince Turki discussed a wide range of topics, including Saudi-US relations, US Middle East policy, the upcoming Arab League summit in Khartoum, Iraq, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the Palestinian elections.
Asked what Saudi Arabia's position is regarding a Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority, Prince Turki restated the Kingdom’s position articulated by King Abdullah while on an official visit to Pakistan. In joint statement, Prince Turki said, King Abdullah and President Pervez Musharraf called on the newly elected Palestinian leadership to adhere to all of the commitments of the Palestinian Authority, including the Beirut Declaration issued by the Arab summit in Beirut, March 28, 2002 which envisions a two-state solution, and to adhere to the roadmap.
On the issue of Iraq, Prince Turki said the Kingdom recognizes that there is a problem in Iraq and that the Kingdom has been at the forefront of countries trying to get the Iraqi people to think of themselves as Iraqis, not just Sunni, Shi’a, or Kurd. The Kingdom, Prince Turki added, has worked tirelessly to promote Iraqi national unity and has been actively pursuing national reconciliation by promoted the meeting of all of the political factions last November in Cairo under the auspices of the Arab League.
On the issue of Iranian nuclear ambitions, Prince Turki reiterated the Kingdom’s longstanding position that the Middle East should be a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, not just nuclear.
Prince Turki welcomed the opportunity to meet with Arab journalists, and said that he hopes to establish a closer working relationship with the Arab press.