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'There Will Not Be a War,' Saudi Leader Says of Iraq

January 13, 2003|From Reuters

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The de facto ruler of key U.S. ally Saudi Arabia said Sunday that he did not believe there would be war on neighboring Iraq and that the kingdom had proposed an initiative to fellow Arab states to resolve the crisis.

"There is no doubt that all the reasons point to a war, but I personally believe there will not be a war.... I see the fleets but, God willing, there will be no war," Crown Prince Abdullah said on state television.

"This is my personal opinion. I did not hear anything, and no one told me anything," he added.

Asked if there was any Arab initiative to avert a looming U.S.-led strike on Iraq, he said: "Saudi Arabia has presented proposals to its brothers in Arab states and asked them to accept them and for them to be the basis of any [Arab] summit.

"I believe if the [proposals are] accepted, it will solve many problems," he said.

The prince's comments followed unconfirmed reports that Arab governments were urging Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to seek asylum in Libya to avert a possible war with the U.S. Libya and Saudi Arabia have denied such a move was afoot.

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