Kingdom slams ISIS as destructive terror group

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Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal addresses a press conference on the sidelines of the OIC meeting in Jeddah.

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal addresses a press conference on the sidelines of the OIC meeting in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed accusations from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki that it supports terrorist groups in Iraq as “ludicrous.”

Addressing a press conference in Jeddah at the end of the 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal took a dig at Al-Maliki.
“Those allegations are not from Iraq but Al-Maliki,” he said.

He blamed Al-Maliki’s sectarian policies for the crisis in Iraq.

“We have unequivocally condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) as a terrorist group,” said Prince Saud. “ISIS does not represent the will of the Iraqi people.”

Responding to a question from Arab News that some people see the events in Iraq as a people’s revolution, he said: “We don’t see ISIS as revolutionaries. They found the space to operate in Iraq because of the policies of the (Al-Maliki) government that divided Iraqis, treated them unequally, subjugated and terrorized them.”

Prince Saud said the Iraqi prime minister indulged in politics of vengeance and behaved in a dictatorial way by consolidating power in his office. “This is what led to the presumption that this is a people’s revolt,” he said.

Al-Maliki’s politics of hate “led to the breaking of the will of the security forces in meeting the challenge of the terrorists,” he said. “ISIS is a terror organization. It is not a savior, but a destroyer of Iraq,” said Prince Saud. He said the Kingdom was “opposed to all militias” from whatever sect.

He said no one has suffered more than Saudi Arabia from terrorism. “We fought a successful battle against them,” he said. “Therefore, those allegations (from Al-Maliki) are ludicrous,” he said.

The final declaration of the OIC meeting on Thursday did not specifically mention Iraq, but called on all Islamic countries to unite against sectarian politics. “(These) exclusionary sectarian policies have led to the emergence of sedition pervading the political arena and creating chaos,” the declaration stated. “They (have) endangered peace, stability and the sovereignty of many states and are not easy to overcome.”

The OIC called on member states to not discriminate between various factions on ethnic or other grounds.

The OIC rejected the presidential elections in Syria. “They contravene the Geneva Communiqué which called for the establishment of a transitional governing body to supervise constitutional reforms, leading to free and fair elections to revive the political process and involve all Syrian parties,” the final declaration stated.

The OIC stated that the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal

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