Speech by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at the Arab League's emergency summit in Cairo, 21-22 October, 2000.
The speech was notable for its proposal to establish two funds, totalling $1 billion, to support the Palestinians, and for its criticism of the United States.
Excellency, President Hosni Mubarak, Distinguished Leaders,
We meet today representing the aspirations and anguish of our great people. And therefore we must be true to the honor of our history and the fulfillment of the ambitions of the Arab nation.
I remind you of the trust and responsibility which we all have to bear. We must refuse any resolutions that do not bestow honor on its maker. Ideals cannot be compromised, and honor cannot tarnish for, only what is of value is durable; what is fake is perishable, as stated in the holy Quran "For the scum like forth cast out; while that which is for the good for the mankind remains on the earth".
In the name of the Almighty, I beseech each and everyone of you to deeply search his soul and invoke his noble Arab heritage, to stand united behind our people to uphold justice. Our rights are self-evident and clear and therefore must devote ourselves to their attainment.
From this podium, I declare to you and the whole world that the government and the people of Saudi Arabia shall not be a party to any decisions that overlook the aspirations of our people and that are taken solely for absorbing the anger in the Arab world and deflecting us from the attainment of our objective.
If our previous meetings were held in response to critical circumstances, our present gathering is different. The situation facing us today is not only critical and grave, but carries ominous dangerous warnings that threaten to turn the area a new round of violence and instability.
We do face difficult options. But such options are not between a demeaning submission, nor an acceptance of a confrontation that is not of our making and choosing. The option we must take is the option of standing steadfastly and firmly in upholding our principles and legitimate rights. It is the option that rejects the imposition of political and military coercion. It is the option of independent choice and independent action.
In this regard, permit me, your Excellency, to define what could make up the aspects of the position which we must endeavor to adopt in this Summit.
First, our support for our Palestinian brothers, should not only be political and moral. It should include all possible means. Accordingly we propose the establishment of a special trust under the name of "The Jerusalem Intifada Fund" with a capital of 200 million US dollars. This amount will be allocated, to the families and the education of the children of the Palestinian martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the struggle. We further propose the establishment of a fund under the name of "Al-Aqsa Fund" in the amount of 800 million dollars, to finance projects that safeguard and constantly preserve the Islamic and Arabic identity of Al-Quds, and enabling our Palestinian brothers to stand on their own and release them from dependence on Israel. I would like to announce, in the name of the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the people of Saudi Arabia, that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shall contribute 25% of the amount allocated to these two funds.
I would like also to announce that the people of Saudi Arabia, headed by the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, shall undertake to sponsor and support one thousand Palestinian families of the martyred and wounded in the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Second, East Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic cause. It cannot be the object of bargaining or abandoned, under any circumstances. It is an integrated part of the Arab occupied territories, subject to all relevant Security Council resolutions. The responsibility to retain Al-Quds, and the liberation of the occupied territories is shared by all of us. There is no hope to undertake this role if we do not stand resolutely united, overcome our differences, and resist those endeavor to weaken our solidarity by sowing the seeds of dissention among us.
Third, the United States of America in its capacity as the sponsor of the peace process has a special responsibility for the collapse of this process. This is so because sponsorship obligates the sponsor with the duty of assuring the appropriateness of the course of the peace process, and to hold accountable those responsible for its derailment from the prescribed path.
We have been anticipating after, the positive stand of the Arab side and the spirit of commitment demonstrated by them towards the peace process, that the Israeli side would be chastised or at least blamed for its intransigence and its unacceptable conduct and practices which negate the principles and bases of the Madrid peace conference, and violate the terms of the agreements concluded with the Palestinian side.
Four, as a response to the Israeli actions and the inability of the world community to contain and prevent them, it is only natural to refrain from establishing any relations with Israel and the cancellation of any existing ties or links that have been established under the umbrella of the peace process whose requirements were totally neglected by Israel. As a prerequisite to any resumption of the relations, we deem it necessary to attain real achievements in the peace process not only on the Palestinian track but on all other tracks.
I have to be frank and candid with you, and state what I feel is right, as Allah is my witness. I don’t think that any of us shall ever forget as long he lives the image of fear and terror portrayed on the innocent face of Mohammed Al-Dorra before he took his last breath. I shall never forget what I saw in the hospitals of the Kingdom. There, I saw torn bodies, missing eyes, and the broken arms and limbs resulting from explosive bullets.
It is incumbent upon me to describe my feelings as obligated by my duty to my religion, my country, and the Arab-Islamic nation. If I am wrong, it is my fault. If I am right it is by the grace of Allah Almighty.
I conclude this statement, by praying to Allah to guide us to the righteous path, and help us to achieve all that is blessed and worthwhile to our Arab nation, and bestow upon us guidance and wisdom.
Thank you so much.
Saudi translation supplied to journalists at the conference