Skip to comments.Saudi foreign minister says he will attend Annapolis [But refuses to shake hands with a Jew]
Posted on 11/23/2007 5:33:52 AM PST by Alouette
Following Arab League meeting in Cairo Friday, Minister al-Faisal declares his country will attend US-sponsored Mideast peace conference, but that he will not allow 'theatrics' like handshakes with Israeli officials
Associated Press Published: 11.23.07, 15:10 / Israel News
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said Friday he will attend next week's US-sponsored Middle East peace conference but insisted he would not allow "theatrics" like handshakes with Israeli officials, saying the gathering must make serious progress.
Participation by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal was a key goal of the United States to show strong Arab support for the conference, due to be held in Annapolis, Maryland. Until Friday, the kingdom had balked at saying whether it would attend and at what level, seeking assurances Israel would commit to serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Still unclear, however, was whether Syria would send its foreign minister. Syria has insisted Annapolis must address its demands for the return of the Israeli-held Golan Heights.
Al-Faisal told a press conference that an Arab League meeting Friday had decided that Arab countries will attend Annapolis at the level of foreign minister. "I'm not hiding any secret about the Saudi position.
We were reluctant until today. And if not for the Arab consensus we felt today, we would not have decided to go," al-Faisal said. "But the kingdom would never stand against an Arab consensus, as long as the Arab position has agreed on attending, the kingdom will walk along with its brothers in one line."
But he cautioned, "We are not prepared to take part in a theatrical show, in handshakes and meeting that don't express political positions. We are going with seriousness and we work on the same seriousness and credibility."
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
That’s it. The Saudi will shake once the peace deal is signed. Not much point in a photo-op that would weaken his position in his own circle. Still, he could act the statesman rather than a cold fish. Who knows, this could finally bring eternal peace in the region.