Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- William Patey, British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has said that Iraq, Iran, and the international peace conference on the Palestinian issue would be some of the main issues that will be discussed between King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz and British officials.” The political talks would include all Middle East problems.” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Ambassador Patey stated that the British prime minister and his foreign minister want to take advantage of the opportunity of King Abdullah’s visit to Britain to talk about improving the possibilities for the success of the Annapolis conference. He said, “Our positions are close on this issue. We are cooperating with Saudi Arabia with a view to ensuring the success of this conference.”
The British ambassador stressed the need for efforts to ensure that the Annapolis conference produces positive results that would include agreement between the two sides on solutions to the pending final-status problems.
Patey confirmed his country’s support for the need to achieve justice in Palestine. He said, “We want the Saudi people to understand this position.” He noted that British policy is not hostile to Muslims, as some people think. This is completely untrue, he said.
The British ambassador in Riyadh told Asharq Al-Awsat that the way to strengthen understanding between the Saudi and British peoples is by knowing that British policy is against extremism and not against Islam. Riyadh and London are partners in the goal to combat terrorism and extremism. The British ambassador said that Cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Britain now is stronger than ever before, also revealing that the United kingdom was helping the Saudi Interior Ministry in training Special Forces and in many other security fields, while Saudi Arabia is also helping in providing the UK with vital information.
William Patey conveyed his country’s desire to utilize the Saudi Interior Ministry’s program in combating extremism, saying that the ministry has, “an excellent program, and we need to understand more about this program.”
He added that Saudi dissidents residing in London are an “inaudible few.”
Patey belittled the importance of the activities of Saudi dissidents in his country and said, “They are insignificant in Britain, and our people do not pay attention to them and do not know them.” William Patey stressed the need to initiate a dialogue between the Saudi and British peoples to combat and confront the extremists. He said his country does not accept the ideas of the Saudi dissidents living in Britain.
“We do not agree with the positions of these dissidents, but we have no case now to stand against them.” He added.