Iraq

Iraq/Saudi Arabia: Press Statement by Prince Naif

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Jeddah, 4th March 2003 - The Interior Minister, Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz, said that the Kingdom has taken precautionary measures to deal with a possible influx of refugees if war erupts between Iraq and the U.S.
In remarks to the press following a graduation ceremony that he patronized tonight in Jeddah, Prince Naif described news reports that 92 people have been apprehended at Asfan as exaggerated.

Speaking after awarding certificates to graduates of a security-training institute, he said that the security sectors are poised to upgrade preparedness to cope with the current circumstances, but the timing of procedures would depend on developments of the situation. When asked whether the Kingdom has planned for the eventuality that nuclear weapons be deployed in a conflict between Iraq and the U.S., the Interior Minister said that the Kingdom would take the necessary measures at the time, in accordance with arrangements made worldwide. He emphasised his hope that nuclear weapons would not be deployed.

Commenting on a recent series of criminal acts perpetrated in the Kingdom, which gave rise to speculation that they were carried out by the same culprits, he said that they reflect current incidents abroad, and are not peculiar to the Kingdom.

When asked whether Saudi nationals in Kuwait would be evacuated during war, Prince Naif said that they would receive equal treatment to Kuwaiti citizens.

He said that investigations into the killing of Dr Hamad Al-Wardi, a senior official of Al-Jouf Governorate, are still underway. He declined to draw a link between the incident and the killing of Judge Al-Sihaibani, who was previously killed in Al-Jouf.

Source: SPA