The U.S. government backed New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in his dispute with Prince Al Waleed ibn Talal ibn Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia over Al Waleed's linkage of the attacks of Sept. 11 to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Giuliani had rejected Al Waleed's offer of a $10-million donation for victims of the World Trade Center attack after the prince said U.S. policy in the Middle East was among the causes that led to the attacks.
In a later development, the billionaire Saudi prince said that the mayor misunderstood him.
In an interview with Newsday from Saudi Arabia, the prince also lambasted the assault on Manhattan.
"I think this misunderstanding was that we were giving a justification," the prince said. "I would be the last one to give a rationale for the attack."