Saudis, Americans smooth relations over controversial Pentagon briefing
A briefing given on July 10, 2002 to the US Defense Policy Board by Laurent Murawiec of the Rand Corporation, reportedly described the Saudi Kingdom as an enemy of the United States.
Following leakage of the briefing, the Saudi Information Office released a statement, quoting Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal as saying that US-Saudi relations are "excellent in all fields" and describing Murawiec’s words as "pure fiction."
The Bush administration distanced itself yesterday from the Pentagon briefing that described Saudi Arabia as an adversary of the United States and a backer of terrorism, reported the Washington Post.
Prince Saud indicated that he received a telephone call from US Secretary of State Collin Powell in which the secretary assured him that the views presented by Murawiec at the defense advisory board meeting in no way represent the views of the American president or his administration.
Secretary Powell reiterated the US government's long-standing position regarding the close and historic ties between the two countries and emphasized that there is no change in the strong relationship between them.
Prince Saud expressed his appreciation to the secretary for his telephone call, and stated: "It is unfortunate that there are people in some quarters who are trying to cast doubt and undermine the solid and historic ties between our two countries. I am confident that they will not succeed." — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)