Saudi Kingdom not to dispatch troops to Iraq
The United States has not asked Saudi Arabia to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq, the kingdom's foreign minister said Saturday, stressing such a request would have to come from a legitimate Iraqi government.
"I believe the (Saudi) kingdom is not prepared to send troops to Iraq unless the request was made by a legitimate Iraqi government," Prince Saud al-Faisal told a news conference in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
"Nothing of this has happened," Prince Saud said in response to a question on whether Washington had asked Riyadh to send troops to help US-led forces stabilize Iraq.
Al-Faisal, however, reiterated Riyadh's welcome of the formation of a US-backed interim Governing Council in Iraq, and hoped this would lead to the setting-up of a permanent national government in Baghdad. "The kingdom considers the establishment of the (Governing) Council a positive step towards the restoration of civil institutions and normal life in this sisterly country," he said, according to AFP.
Saudi Arabia will not open a representative office for the Iraqi Governing Council on its territory, said the minister, adding, "Diplomatic representation should come after a legitimate government is formed in Baghdad." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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