Saudi conference approves proposal for international anti-terror center

“RIYADH (AFP) – A counter-terrorism conference hosted by Saudi Arabia, which is battling Al-Qaeda violence, wrapped up after endorsing a Saudi proposal to set up an international center to combat terror.

Under US pressure to accelerate democratization, the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom staged the event just before landmark municipal elections — the first-ever public vote in Saudi history — take place on Thursday.

Despite a lukewarm welcome from British and US delegates, the event ended with a joint statement to “support and adopt” Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz’s proposal to set up an international counter-terrorism center.

“A task force has been established to further elaborate this proposal,” said the closing “Riyadh Declaration”, according to the English text.

The communique, read out in Arabic at the closing session, did not say where the center would be based, but the head of one participating delegation told AFP it would be set up in Switzerland.”

Excuse me if I am less than effusive about this little shindig. I think that the Saudis speak out of both sides of their mouths.

Some of you may have seen that at the same time they are providing lip service in this direction they are making silly accusations. I present the following for your review:

“Speaking at a meeting of Saudi leaders in preparation for the kingdom’s international conference on counterterrorism, Defense Minister Prince Sultan referred to Osama bin Laden as being “sent by the Jews.”

The prince was quoting a poet who said, “Long live security – may its men hold their heads high on every corner. [Bin Laden], whose ideology is sick, who was sent by the Jews, who is the architect of theft, was treacherous and sent us the criminals. This traitor of the nation tried to harm us, but his efforts boomeranged back upon him.”

This is the Defense Minister of the country that claims to be interested in fighting terror. When are they going to take responsibility for their own backyard. When are they going to look at themselves, the country that sent 19 hijackers to the US to murder innocent civilians.

I am not impressed and I am not holding my breath

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