Saudi Arabia denies permit to Americans to use al-Kharj base
Saudi Arabia-USA, Politics, 2/27/2003
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal yesterday denied what was stated by the US daily Washington Post that Saudi Arabia will permit American forces to use Prince Sultan Air Base in al-Kharj for attacking Iraq.
In a press conference in Jeddah, al-Faisal stressed that the use of the base will be according to what was stated in Safwan agreement in 1991 on establishing a "no fly Zone," noting that the presence of the UN forces in this base falls in this context and that these bases will not be permitted for use beyond than what is stated.
The Saudi minister renewed his country's rejection to direct a military attack against Iraq. He said that the military action will not serve the interests of Iraq, nor the interests of the region, nor the interests of the US itself. He warned against dividing Iraq because of any war to be launched against it.
However, The Washington Post said yesterday that the USA and Saudi Arabia reached a new agreement that would expand the scale of air raids as from the Saudi territories and to use all the base if war takes place.
On the other hand, Prince Saud al-Faisal warned against the attempt to impose foreign control against Iraq and considered that "one who thinks he can control Iraq is (someone who) lives in illusion." This was a reply to a question on the intention of the USA to install a military ruler on Iraq after toppling the standing regime. He added Iraq is "a people, country, history and a civilization and its people cannot accept any foreign control on it."
He added that the UN Security Council should not to hurry to war and that Iraq has to abide by the implementation of the UN resolutions. The Saudi minister also criticized the French- German proposals to solve the crisis in Iraq, considering that it does not "solve the problem."
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