2006 News Story

Interior Minister gives wide-ranging interview to Tunisian reporters

Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz gave a wide-ranging interview to reporters in Tunis, where he attended the 23rd Council of Arab Interior Ministers.

Commenting on the Palestinian legislative elections, Prince Nayef urged the Palestinian factions to reach an agreement. “Wisdom and sense should overcome, and we hope that our Palestinian brethren will not commit any act that may offend the entire Arabs,” he said.

The prince praised the success of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s official visits to China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan. “These visits have proved to be successful, and have opened new horizons of cooperation in so many domains, notably in the economic and investment domains,” he said.

Prince Nayef said that Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, and that the Kingdom hopes that is true. “Our region is not in need of such things,” he said.

The prince also addressed the recent controversy over blasphemous cartoons that were published by a Danish newspaper. “We do respect freedom of opinion, but we never tolerate insulting the Prophet, peace be on him,” he said. Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador to Denmark over the matter.

Prince Nayef reiterated his hope that Iraqi authorities will extradite Saudis who have gone to Iraq to fight. He also said that the Kingdom is ready to cooperate with other countries to fight terrorism.

He  also expressed his sorrow and grief over the tragic deaths of pilgrims during the 1426H Hajj season, and stressed that the Kingdom is taking all measures to ensure pilgrims’ safety.