London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia has denied providing moral and financial support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has secured swathes of territory across northern and central Iraq this week, following accusations by Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
The Saudi embassy in London circulated the following statement on Wednesday:
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wishes to see the defeat and destruction of all Al-Qaeda networks and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS) operating in Iraq. Saudi Arabia does not provide either moral or financial support to ISIS or any terrorist networks. Any suggestion to the contrary, is a malicious falsehood.
“Despite the false allegations of the Iraqi Ministerial Cabinet, whose exclusionary policies have fomented this current crisis, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports the preservation of Iraq’s sovereignty, its unity and territorial integrity. We wish to see the protection of all civilians and the alleviation of their current suffering. We oppose all foreign intervention and interference in the internal affairs of Iraq. Instead, we urge all the people of Iraq, whatever their religious denominations, to unite to overcome the current threats and challenges facing the country.”
Speaking on Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki accused Riyadh of backing ISIS. “We hold them responsible for supporting these groups financially and morally, and for the outcome of that—which includes crimes that may qualify as genocide: the spilling of Iraqi blood, the destruction of Iraqi state institutions and historic and religious sites,” the Iraqi government said in a statement.