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Local PRESS COMMENTS
19th Apr 2001

    THE SAUDI ENGLISH NEWSPAPERS COMMENTED ON THURSDAY ON VARIOUS TOPICS.

JEDDAH-BASED SAUDI GAZETTE, COMMENTING ON THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE, SAID SHARON IS DRIVING PALESTINIANS INTO A CORNER

'THE DRACONIAN SECURITY MEASURES TAKEN BY ISRAELI LEADER ARIEL SHARON MAY BE DRIVING EVEN THE MOST MODERATE PALESTINIANS INTO A CORNER, MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE FROM THEM TO ENTER PEACE TALKS', IT SAID.

IT WENT ON SAYING THAT 'CRITICS SAY SHARON TACTICS HAVE SERIOUSLY UNDERMINED ARAB AND INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO REVIVE THE DEADLOCKED PEACE PROCESS AND REDUCE THE LEVEL OF VIOLENCE.

IT CONCLUDED QUOTING ISRAELI ANALYST MARK HELLER AS SAYING 'WE MAY HAVE TO WAIT FOR ANOTHER GENERATION OF PALESTINIANS BEFORE PEACE IS ACHIEVED BECAUSE SHARON HAS DESTROYED ISRAELIS' FAITH IN ARAFAT ASA PEACE PARTNER 'ARAB NEWS', WHICH IS ALSO PUBLISHED IN JEDDAH, COMMENTING ON THE ISSUE OF WAR CRIMES AGAINST BOSNIA SAID UNDER THE TITLE OF 'SEED OF PEACE' THE MASSACRE OF OVER 5000 BOSNIAN MUSLIMS IN SREBRENICA WAS THE WORST WAR CRIME TO TAKE PLACE IN EUROPE SINCE WORLD WAR II.

IT WAS ALSO A HUMILIATING AND SHAMEFUL EVENT FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE OF SREBRENICA HAD BEEN UNDER THE PROTECTION OF A DUTCH CONTINGENT OF UN TROOPS. THE COMMANDER OF THIS UNIT ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE PERSUADED BY SERB COMMANDERS THAT THE POPULATION WOULD BE PROTECTED, BUT IF THE DUTCH RESISTED, MANY CIVILIANS MIGHT BE KILLED IN THE RESULTING FIREFIGHT.

THE PAPER ADDED 'BUT ATROCITIES WERE NOT CONFINED TO THE SERBS. UN INVESTIGATORS ARE EXPECTING TO FINALLY UNCOVER THE MASS GRAVE OF SERBIAN CIVILIANS BUTCHERED BY CROATS. CROATS ALSO CARRIED OUT MASSACRES OF BOSNIAN MUSLIMS. THERE WERE ALSO CASES OF ATROCITIES CARRIED OUT BY MUSLIMS, BUT IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT THERE WAS NEVER ANY HIDDEN GENOCIDAL POLICY BY THE BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT IN SARAJEVO.

IT CONCLUDED BY SAYING 'THE NEWS CAMERAS WERE RUNNING WHEN OUT OF CROWD OF SILENT ONLOOKERS STEPPED AN OLD MAN, A SERB, WHO WALKED TOWARD A WOMAN HE HAD RECOGNIZED AND WAS GREETING. HIS FACE WAS A PICTURE OF SADNESS, PROBABLY SHAME BUT ALSO PLEASURE AT SEEING AN OLD FRIEND. IT WAS IN HIS NAME THAT MILOSEVIC AND KARADIC AND MLADIC AND THEIR MINIONS HAD MURDERED HIS NEIGHBORS. BUT IN HIS SMALL WAY, HE WAS DEMONSTRATING TO ONE OF THOSE NEIGHBORS, THAT HE WANTED NO PART OF IT. FROM SUCH LITTLE SEEDS, A NEW PEACE CAN GROW.

MEANWHILE, 'RIYADH DAILY' COMMENTING ON THE SAUDI-IRANIAN RELATION SAID THE SECURITY PACT SIGNED BETWEEN SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN IS NOT ONLY A SOURCE OF PRIDE TO THE TWO COUNTRIES, BUT ALSO TO THE REGION AS A WHOLE.

THE AGREEMENT, SIGNED IN TEHRAN ON TUESDAY BY INTERIOR MINISTER PRINCE NAIF BIN ABDULAZIZ AND HIS COUNTERPART, ABDULWAHID MOUSAWI LARRY, REFLECTS THE NEW CHAPTER OF CLOSE RELATIONSHIP OPENED BY THE TWO NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES AND SHOWS THEIR DETERMINATION TO FIGHT ALL SORTS OF CRIME IN THE REGION'.

IT WENT ON SAYING 'KHATEMI WAS EMPHATIC WHEN HE SAID THAT BILATERAL VISITS ARE THE 'BEST INDICATORS' OF THE GOOD AND STRONG TIES BINDING THE TWO COUNTRIES.

PRINCE NAIF HAS ALSO SPOKEN HIGHLY OF HIS VISIT: 'I WAS WARMLY WELCOMED THROUGHOUT MY MEETINGS WITH ALL THE OFFICIALS, LED BY THE PRESIDENT. THEY ARE KEEN ON DEVELOPING A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE GULF STATES. AND I WAS PLEASED TO FIND THAT THEY ALREADY HAVE A DEEP UNDERSTANDING OF THE SITUATION IN THE REGION.

THE PAPER CONCLUDED BY SAYING 'PRINCE NAIF AND THE IRANIAN PRESIDENT HAVE CLEARLY ELUCIDATED SAUDI-IRANIAN RELATIONS THAT TIES HAVE ONLY ONE STRONG INDICATION THAT THESE TIES HAVE ONLY ONE WAY TO GO-UP, UP AND FURTHER UP.

THE LATEST SECURITY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES IS A CLEAR SIGN OF THIS.

Source: SPA



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