NEW YORK (AFP) – Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on Wednesday ruled out the use of oil as a weapon by Arab states to secure an end to the 12-day Israeli military onslaught in the Gaza Strip.
“Oil is not a weapon. You can’t reverse a conflict by using oil,” he told reporters here on the sidelines of a Security Council debate on the Israeli offensive which has claimed 689 Palestinian lives.
The Saudi chief diplomat expressed support for a Libyan draft resolution that would demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and said it should be put to a vote in the Security Council Wednesday or Thursday.
“It is the responsibility of the Security Council to help to end any conflict as soon as it arises. And the current conflict in Gaza should be no exception,” he noted.
“If the Security Council takes no action … that certainly raises questions about its credibility.”
But the French, US and British foreign chief diplomats are seeking Council approval of a non-binding statement in support for a ceasefire plan unveiled by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
After talks with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, Mubarak Tuesday presented a three-point proposal for ending Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza.
The plan included an “immediate ceasefire for a specific period” to allow humanitarian aid to pass; an invitation to Israel and the Palestinians to come to Egypt for talks on securing Gaza borders, reopening of its crossings and lifting an Israeli blockade; and a renewed call for Palestinian reconciliation talks under Egyptian mediation.
“The initiative of president Mubarak does not conflict or contradict the (Libyan) proposal made to the Security Council. As a matter of fact, it complements it,” Prince Saud said.