CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – SAUDI ARABIA & TERRORISM – 23 July 2002

Dr Julian Lewis: What representations he has made to the Government of Saudi Arabia in respect of statements of support for terrorist activities?

[Jack Straw: The Government of Saudi Arabia are well aware of her Majesty's Government's complete condemnation of terrorism, including suicide bombings. The Government of Saudi Arabia have made clear their rejection of terrorism, including in relation to the middle east peace process.]

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] I agree with everything that the Foreign Secretary said, but given that our relationship with Saudi Arabia is so sensitive and important, is he not gravely concerned that on 13 April the Saudi ambassador, Ghazi Algosaibi stated:

"When the call comes for Jihad
There's no need for a referendum or a 'Fatwa'.
The Day of Jihad is the Day of Blood.";

that on 9 July, he stated that Israeli actions on the West Bank were

"far more severe than anything the Germans did when they occupied Europe in World War Two";

and that on 5 June, he stated:

"I do not fear death – on the contrary, I long to die as a martyr, although I am at an age that does not allow me to carry out a martyrdom operation"?

 How sad that he cannot do it, but how sad also that he is the ambassador of that country to this one.

[Mr Straw: As I made clear, we disagree profoundly with the Saudi ambassador and we believe that terrorism, including suicide bombing, is to be condemned and that there is no comparison between what happened during the Nazi occupation of the whole of Europe and what is happening in Israel and the occupied territories.]

[For subsequent developments, click here.]