Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- During a lecture on Saudi diplomacy in Riyadh, Prince Turki al Faisal, the former Saudi ambassador to the US, discussed the manner in which his father, the late King Faisal Bin Abdulaziz, dealt with the Egyptian President Jamal Abdul Nasser after disputes occurred between them.
Prince Turki told the audience how his father met the insults leveled against him by Jamal Abdul Nasser with silence after a disagreement had occurred between the two leaders.
He stated that a number of top officials, who were working with King Faisal Bin Abdulaziz, had advised the king to retaliate to Abdul Nasser’s insults.
According to the prince however, the Saudi king rejected their advice and explained that King Faisal’s approach was “wise” as he told his advisers, “If what he said is true, let us correct it, and if what he said is false, then everybody knows the truth.”
Turki al Faisal, chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, spoke about his late father during a lecture organized by the College of Law and Political Science at King Saud University to assert that Saudi diplomacy is the chosen approach in confronting bias and hostile campaigns against the country.
However, the Saudi prince stressed the importance of dealing with such campaigns in a prompt manner and how Saudi media should assume the task of refuting all negative campaigns that aim to damage the kingdom.
Prince Turki al Faisal called upon the citizens of Saudi Arabia, especially intellectuals and opinion-makers, to present the reality of the country and its known political standpoints in the international media.
“We must not let others speak on our behalf. Some people may be right [about some things] however many of them are more unaware of our issues and the issues of the region than a child,” said Prince Turki al Faisal.
Turki al Faisal, the former director-general of the General Intelligence Directorate, denied that humanitarian aid offered by Saudi Arabia to Arab and Islamic countries is dependent on the support given by the respective country to Saudi positions in international meetings. He said that the matter of providing assistance to a country or nation is a sensitive issue and highlighted that linking financial support to political support is “a completely unsuccessful approach” and that “Saudi Arabia does not set conditions for providing humanitarian aid.”
However, from the point of view of Prince Turki al Faisal, the truth of the matter is that there are parties that antagonize his country and seek to influence its interests. He stated that the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud used to rise above the “harm” that Arab and non-Arab leaders had caused him and would tolerate it and always demonstrated good will even in dealing with his archenemies. However, this, reiterated the prince, does not mean that his country would not confront the direct challenges that surround it.
Turki al Faisal talked about Saudi-US relations and stated that many benefits have materialised as a result of these ties. He emphasized the strategy of Saudi-American relations and that all crises that sought to hinder these ties “have failed to remove the strategic characteristic [of these relations].”
He considered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and General Intelligence Directorate “The first line of defence for the homeland and citizen from external dangers through the diplomacy and intelligence practiced by staff, including ambassadors and others.” They are “soldiers without military uniform or ranks and the threat against the state lies in their failure to ward off danger. The state then is forced to resort to other alternatives and powers,” said Prince Turki.