2007 News Story

Crown Prince affirms Saudi support for preserving Iraqi unity

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz has reaffirmed the Kingdom’s support for preserving Iraqi unity and warned against any division of the country. He also urged the coalition forces to adopt a new approach to the crisis in Iraq.

The Crown Prince made the remarks in an interview published today by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat.

“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz has been urging the Iraqis to resort to reason and wisdom and to work for ending bloodshed in their country,” Crown Prince Sultan told Asharq al-Awsat. “Our policy towards Iraq stems from our Arab and Islamic responsibilities and duties, and we are keen on ending bloodshed and preserving the unity of Iraq.”

Crown Prince Sultan also suggested coalition forces should consider a new approach to Iraq.

“Iraq should never be a compromising platform for realization of political goals, and it is high time for the coalition forces to revise the goals of their presence in Iraq,” he said.

“What these forces have realized since their entry into Iraq? Has the strategy being worked out by these forces attained any positive development? Are there strategic alternatives which we should think of in the light of the deteriorating situation in Iraq?”

The Crown Prince called on Iraq’s political factions to begin a comprehensive national dialogue for establishing a new Iraq based on the common interests, not sectarian or ethnic ones.

Furthermore, he stressed that Saudi Arabia opposes foreign intervention in Iraq’s internal affairs, and welcomes any effort to help Iraqis find a way to resolve the crisis.

“The Kingdom’s stand affirms Iraq's security, stability, independence and preservation of the unity of its people and territories. The Kingdom has warned of dangers of foreign intervention in Iraq's internal affairs. Thus the Kingdom did not and will not interfere in Iraq's internal affairs, leaving room for Iraqis to find ways to get out of their crisis,” the Crown Prince said.

In the interview, Crown Prince Sultan also discussed the Kingdom’s efforts to end the bloodshed in Lebanon and expressed concern that events there have reached a dangerous turning point, threatening Lebanese security. He called on the Lebanese to seek unity through dialogue.

On other issues, the Crown Prince praised Saudi-Syrian relations and noted that the current crises in the Arab world require unified ranks. He also reiterated the Kingdom’s call for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.