RIYADH: Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, during an interview with PBS NewsHour, confirmed that the Kingdom’s stance on Gaza is the same in public and private.
Prince Faisal was refuting claims from PBS Presenter Nick Schifrin that “[Saudi Arabia’s] public calls do not match your private calls to destroy Hamas. Why the dual message?”
The Saudi foreign minister said, “There is no dual message. What we say in private and what we say in public is exactly the same, not just for the kingdom but for all the Arabs.”
He added, “I am very proud that what we are saying in public and private are the same. I can’t say the same for some of our Western interlocutors.”
Prince Faisal, who is currently leading the Arab-Islamic Ministerial Committee’s visit in Washington to call for a Gaza ceasefire, disagreed with the US veto on the UN Security Council resolution on Saturday.
He also voiced disappointment at the Security Council’s inability to “take a firm position” on Gaza.
“We have now seen a level of carnage in Gaza that is unprecedented, that is unjustifiable under any pretext of self-defense,” noted Prince Faisal.
The Arab-Islamic Committee also objected to the US veto that blocked the UN Security Council resolution during a meeting with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Prince Faisal said the committee would push for a ceasefire to prevent more civilian deaths.
“This continuing level of civilian casualties does not serve anybody's interests, including the interests of Israel or its security.”
The Saudi foreign minister warned against the risk of the war’s expansion from Gaza to the rest of the region, as well as the rising threat of extremism. “People are losing their trust in the argument for peace in our region, but they're also losing their trust in the international systems of security and legitimacy,” he said.
On Saturday, Prince Farhan met separately with Blinken in Washington to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.
The officials discussed “all possible efforts to reduce the pace of escalation and ensure that the violence does not expand to avoid its dangerous repercussions on international peace and security,” reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The meeting was attended by Princess Reema bint Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States.