Ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz
September 13, 2001
Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz
has attested to the fact that the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia deny any connection to terrorism. In a statement yesterday that appeared
on the U.S. stations as well as on Saudi Television, Prince Bandar responded
to media reports describing Osama bin Laden as "Saudi" by reiterating
that bin Laden's Saudi nationality had been withdrawn from him long ago, on
account of his irresponsible acts.
Attesting the innocence of Islam in these terrorist attacks, Prince Bandar expressed
the hope that the mass media and the politicians will not arbitrarily throw
out accusations against Muslims: whoever committed these criminal acts, which
violate all divine religions and all religious, moral and human values, is not
Muslim. He added that Islam specifically refutes terrorists and terrorism, declaring
that if it turns out, beyond reasonable doubt, that those who carried out these
acts were people who claim to belong to Islam, they are Muslim in name only.
He went on to comment that there are indeed people like this, but pointed out
that they represent only themselves; such people are everywhere, in every religion
and nationality, and of every color and race. He reiterated that the Saudis,
like all Arabs and Muslims, are standing firm behind efforts to unveil the identity
of those who committed these acts.
As for oil, Prince Bandar gave assurances that Saudi Arabia, and all the members
of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), are committed to
keep prices stable and to meet all oil demands.
In response to a question on the United States' reaction in the Middle East
following this terrorist attack, he urged patience for the results of investigations,
and cautioned against anticipating events. To a question as to whether he had
had contacts with the U.S. administration, he said he had been in touch with
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and with Condaleeza Rice, advisor for
national security affairs to President George W. Bush. Prince Bandar reiterated
that Saudi Arabia offers full assistance and cooperation in efforts to eradicate
To a question on whether Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would exploit the
latest events, Prince Bandar expressed deep concern at Sharon's past acts, citing
the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the recent practices against the Palestinians.
Stressing that what is currently happening in the Palestinian territories is
unprecedented, he pointed out that other terrorist acts have not been punished
by destruction of homes or bombing of towns. The U.S., he said, had not destroyed
the home of Timothy McVeigh after the Oklahoma bombing, and the British Prime
Minister did not destroy IRA homes when 10 Downing Street was attacked. He emphasized
that although discussion must now focus on this huge disaster in a friendly
country, we should not forget the plight that Palestinian people going through
at the hands of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.