Saudi Arabia denies report king said Iran, Israel should not exist

Published July 2nd, 2010 - 01:28 GMT
Saudi king
Saudi king

Saudi Arabia on Friday denied a statement attributed to the Saudi monarch, King Abdullah, saying that "two states in the region do not deserve to exist: Israel and Iran." Quoted by Saudi Press Agency, an official source denied the report by the French newspaper "Le Figaro" on June 30. The official source told the agency "that this is untrue altogether," and expressed surprise for the publication of such misinformation without verifying the details.

The source pointed out that "the positions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are clear and declared." The French paper conveyed that the king made these remarks when he met with French Defence Minister Herve Morin in Riyadh on the 5th of June. The journalist who wrote the story, George Malbrunot, has a good reputation and is considered a specialist on the Middle East - at one point even being held hostage by the 'Army of Islam "in Iraq for 4 months.  Military and diplomatic sources confirmed the news, according to Le Figaro.

According to Malbrunot, this statement by the king came days after Israel's attack on a Turjkish aid ship bound to Gaza.

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