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National Guard minister says no foreign troops defending Saudi territory - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Saudi National Guard Minister Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah waves to troops in Arar. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Abdullah Al-Mohsen)

Saudi National Guard Minister Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah waves to troops in Arar. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Abdullah Al-Mohsen)

Arar, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi National Guard Minister Prince Miteb Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz said that the Kingdom’s security forces were more than capable of dealing with any cross-border terrorist threats on Tuesday, denying reports that troops from friendly Muslim countries had been deployed on its borders.

“It would be better for them [terrorist organizations] not to approach Saudi Arabia’s borders and if they opt to do so they will really suffer,” the minister said, in statements carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Speaking during a press conference in the northern city of Arar, Prince Miteb denied reports that Egyptian and Pakistani forces have been deployed to defend Saudi Arabia’s border with Iraq.

“We have very good relations with Egypt and Pakistan but the reports about the presence of their forces in the Kingdom are not true . . . We in Saudi Arabia have the capabilities to defend our lands,” the prince said.

“The Kingdom’s military strength has reached 27 million, which is the population of the country including soldiers and ordinary citizens. Every citizen in the Kingdom is a soldier and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has stated he will be in [the] forefront to defend the nation,” Prince Miteb added.

The Saudi National Guard Minister acknowledged that “several suspicious organizations, directed from abroad, are attempting to carry out their plots and schemes in the Kingdom in order to undermine security, fuel sedition and brainwash Saudi youth.”

“Confronting such groups is the duty of all people, particularly religious scholars and leaders,” he said. “Armies take up fights, confront [other] armies, protect the borders, and defend the country militarily. However, confronting intellectual onslaughts and secret plots is a common mission and citizens have a prominent role.”

Prince Miteb added that National Guard units were on standby and ready to be deployed anywhere in Saudi Arabia at a moment’s notice.