Outright support for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ initiative to invite Iraqi political leaders to meeting in Riyadh

King Abdullah in his initiative: We are addressing your awareness for the sake of your country’s unity

Prince Saud Al-Faisal: No preconditions or conservations over any Iraqi candidate

Islamic, Arab calls for Iraq’s leaders not to miss chance

Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, stressed that the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for Iraqi parties to hold talks in Riyadh in order to form the Iraqi government comes out of the Kingdom's responsibilities towards its Arab, Islamic nation and brotherly Iraq.

In an opening statement of his news conference at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh, Al-Faisal said 'The kingdom confirms it is considering all Iraqis as equal and dealing with them from this standpoint and as they are Iraqis first and foremost, brethrens to the Saudi people... Hence, the government of the Kingdom looks forward to helping all Iraqis so as to enhance the security and stability of Iraqis and achieve their prosperity'.

Prince Saud added that the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is based on the resolutions of the Arab League Council at the summit level, in which Iraq is a member and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia asserts the following:

First: Respect for the unity, sovereignty and independence of Iraq and the preservation of its Arab and Islamic identity, with the emphasis on non-interference in its internal affairs by any party, as well as respect for the will of the Iraqi people of all its components in deciding its political future.

Second: This initiative is not subject to any preconditions by any country, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but it aims at supporting the independent will of Iraqi leaders and people in achieving the most appropriate way to decide the political future of Iraq, a policy always adopted by the Kingdom in all its previous initiatives.

Third: The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques wishes that the consultations of all Iraqi leaders on the initiative of President Massoud Barazani of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq produce positive results getting Iraq out of its political crisis in forming the government and in achieving stability and accordingly the Kingdom would support any solution reached out by the Iraqis of all sects and what is important to Saudi Arabia is to reach a solution that satisfies all parties and achieve the national objectives for a proud Iraq.

Prince Saud went on in the opening statement of his press conference stressing that accordingly, the Kingdom emphasizes once again its full support of the initiative of President of Kurdistan Region of Iraq, wishing its success.

At the same time, the Kingdom calls all concerned for the security, stability, unity and prosperity of Iraq to support and assist the Iraqi brethrens in their quest to find a solution to their political crisis, and to push their efforts and mobilize their energies to achieve the desired reconciliation and national accord, the Minister of Foreign Affairs explained.

He also confirmed that the Iraqi leaders have generally supported and appreciated the initiative which aims at helping the Iraqis to preserve the stability and security of their homeland.

In response to a question whether the initiative implies an invitation to anyone but Iraqis to attend the projected talks as observers, Prince Al-Faisal said: 'The initiative does not implies an invitation to others to attend the expected talks but the concerned Iraqi officials'.

He noted that he doesn't see any similarity between the meeting of Taif, and invitation for the Iraqis to reconcile in Riyadh.

But if the Iraqi brethrens asked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to play any role, then the Kingdom would, of course, become ready to support, with all its capabilities, any agreements may be reached out by Iraqi brothers, he added.

Answering a question about whether the initiative on Iraq was done in coordination with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Prince Saud said: 'This initiative is of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, though it is normal if he had informed his fraternal leaders on it'.

The Saudi top diplomat also pointed out that the initiative of Iraqi reconciliation comes out under the umbrella of the Arab League and resulted from consultations of the Arab summit, saying that: 'This summit is part of the Arab League which includes the Summit, so it is a logical and required thing and I think that it is appreciated by Iraqi brethrens'.

Prince Saud also confirmed that at the beginning, there were efforts under the umbrella of Arab League, since the Arab League is the umbrella of all Arab countries who live together under it in the joint Arab action.. So, putting this initiative under the umbrella of the Arab League reflects the support of independence of the Iraqi decision so as to preserves the complete rights of Iraq as an Arab country'.

'There is no intention of any international interference in this meeting which is confined only to the Iraqis who are the only concerned in this regard, so the focus will accurately be on the independence of the Iraqi effort and work with no intention of any interference in Iraq's internal affairs ', Prince Saud Al-Faisal concluded his news conference.

Meanwhile, Prince Meshaal Ibn Abdulaziz, Chairman of Allegiance-Pledge Commission, said that the call of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud to the leaders of Iraqi parties to meet in Riyadh directly after Hajj season in support of the formation of the Iraqi government, is an extraordinary matter that we have always been accustomed to it from the King of wisdom and humanity, noting that the King has not limited his keenness and care for his people only, but exceeded that to encompass Arab and Islamic nations.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Prince said, 'It is a call that stems from a loving brother who wants to unite the ranks of Iraqis and to preserve Iraq and its people. '

The Republic of Yemen lauded the call by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Iraqi leaders to meet in Riyadh after the Hajj season to find a solution to the Iraqi government formation crisis.

An official source of the Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Republic of Yemen welcomes the initiative by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in an attempt to narrow the gap between Iraqi parties and achieve rapprochement and national reconciliation.

He said it is not strange that the call was initiated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques who was known of his peaceful attitude and approach towards healing the injuries of Arab brothers.

The Yemeni source urged the Iraqi brothers to show positive response to this call and remain keen to take part in the meeting to pave the way for a practical solution to the crisis.

Jordan welcomed King the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ call to Iraqi leaders to meet in Riyadh after the Hajj season under the patronage of the Arab League to overcome differences over formation of the new Iraqi government.

In a press conference in Amman, Jordan's foreign minister Nasir Joudah praised the call and hailed the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' keenness on serving Arab causes.

Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa and Premier of Iraq's Kurdistan Barham Salih lauded King Abdullah’s call to Iraqi leaders to meet in Riyadh.

The two officials' praise of the call by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques came during talks they held on the developments of Iraq's situation and made the remarks in a joint press conference.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry also lauded the Saudi monarch’s initiative on Iraq, noting that it emanated from the keenness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to achieve stability in Iraq.

The Spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry Hossam Zaki said that Egypt appreciates the Saudi initiative stressing its keenness to support Iraq and the Iraqis for the stability and development of their country away from any negative interventions from outside Iraq.