Monday, November 24, 2008

Between the Lines: Saudi Foreign Minister Advises Israel Not to Negotiate With Palestinian Authority

Prince Saud al-Faisal didn't say it in so many words, but he clearly sent the message that negotiating with terrorists was counterproductive and that terrorism was an evil that had to be eradicated.

Despite numerous pledges to abandon terrorism, the Palestinian Authority continues to vacillate between glorification and outright promotion of terrorism and tacit complicity.

According to the Saudi Foreign Minister, negotiations with such entities only encourage them.

Saudi minister opposes negotiations with pirates

Agence France-Presse - 22 November, 2008

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said Friday he was opposed to any negotiations with pirates, reiterating his assertion that sea piracy was "like terrorism."

Somali pirates who captured the Sirius Star supertanker and its 100 million dollar load of oil last Saturday off the coast of Kenya have given the Saudi owners of the vessel 10 days to pay a 25 million dollar ransom.

"Like terrorism, it is an evil that has to be eradicated," Prince Saud told reporters in Oslo after talks with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere.

"Negotiations and payment of ransom only encourage the piracy and are not a solution to the piracy issue," he added.

Contrary to remarks he made in Rome on Wednesday, the Saudi minister said he did not know whether negotiations were under way with the pirates for the release of the Sirius Star.

"Not on the part of the government. If the owners of the ship are doing it, we don't know about it and we're not encouraging it," he said.

Prince Saud reiterated that his country was ready to take part in an international naval force to combat piracy.

Norway has also said it would be willing to participate but not until new frigates enter service "in 2009 or 2010," Stoere said.

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