Crown Prince Sultan arrives in Qatar for a state visit

March 10, 2008

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz arrived in Doha today for a three-day state visit to Qatar. The visit is expected to boost relations between the two countries, which have been strained in recent years.

During the visit, Crown Prince Sultan will meet with Emir Sheikh Hamad ibn Khalifa Al-Thani, Crown Prince Tamim ibn Hamad Al-Thani and Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad ibn Jassem Al-Thani.

In a wide-ranging interview published yesterday in the Qatari newspaper Al-Sharq, Crown Prince Sultan emphasized the deep-rooted relations between the two countries.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar are fraternal neighboring countries, and relations between them are historical relations which are governed by the bonds of kinship and common fate,” the Crown Prince said.

Commenting on the nuclear standoff between Iran and the US, Crown Prince Sultan said all countries must adhere to international regulations preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He expressed the hope that the crisis would be resolved peacefully and defended the right of GCC countries to acquire nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

On Lebanon, the Crown Prince reiterated Saudi support for the country and called on the Lebanese people to unify and resolve the political crisis there.

Turning to the situation in Palestine, Crown Prince Sultan called on Palestinian groups to stand united against their common enemy. He added that the Arab peace initiative remains the reference point for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but warned that Israeli aggressions undermine any chance for peace.

Asked if Saudi Arabia would respond to the Iraqi prime minister’s call urging Arab countries to open their embassies in Baghdad, Crown Prince Sultan noted that Saudi Arabia has already expressed its desire to open an embassy in Baghdad and that a delegation was dispatched to study the logistics. “Allah willing, the embassy will be opened following the completion of regulatory procedures,” he said.

In September 2007, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz met with Emir Hamad at the royal palace in Jeddah. King Abdullah also visited Qatar last year to attend the GCC summit.