Saudi Arabia, US re-iterate support for Arab peace plan in Lebanon


Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and his US counterpart Condaleezza Rice condemned, in a joint press conference, the blast which occurred in Beirut and targeted a US Embassy vehicle driving along the northern seaside highway out of Beirut.

He added that the incident will have no effect on the Arab peace plan for Lebanon.

For her part, Rice underlined the common denominators between the Saudi and US visions for peace in the area. She called for "letting the Lebanese elect their president because the situation in Lebanon requires a president to be there." With regard to Iran, while the Saudi minister described Iran as an "important neighboring state," Rice described the Iranian file as "open for discussion by the US administration." Al-Faisal urged Israel to abide by the US-backed road map for peace and said his country was determined to introduce political reforms.

Rice welcomed the Saudi decision to open a new embassy in Baghdad and said the issues of political reforms and democracy were "high on US President George W Bush’s international priorities." Bush has almost completed his visit to Saudi Arabia and is preparing to leave to Egypt to confer with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.


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