In his first television interview since becoming the Saudi king, Abdullah on Friday told ABC News' Barbara Walters he supports broader rights for women, is concerned about rising oil prices, and is a determined ally in the global war on terror.
However, he acknowledged there is antipathy toward the United States among the Saudi public. "The Saudi people have some disagreements with the United States, in particular when it comes to the issue of the Palestinian question, the war in Afghanistan and the war with Iraq," he told Walters in an interview.
Abdullah said he is committed to broader civil rights for women. "I believe the day will come when women drive," he said. "In fact, if you look at the areas in Saudi Arabia, the deserts and in the rural areas, you will find that women do drive. …The issue will require patience. In time, I believe it will be possible. And I believe patience is a virtue."
Regarding groups like al Qaeda, the Saudi king said "Madness and evil, it is the work of the devil."
He condemned terrorist acts and said his country "will fight the terrorists and those who support them or condone their actions for 10, 20 or 30 years if we have to, until we eliminate this scourge. I believe that the world must stand shoulder to shoulder with each other if we are to eliminate this evil from our midst."