Saudi prince says U.S. should not attack Iraq
Abdullah going forward with Mideast plan
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah said Friday the United States cannot overthrow Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and should not strike Iraq because such an attack would only raise animosity in the region against the United States.
Abdullah said he would warn Vice President Dick Cheney when they meet Saturday that the United States should not go ahead with a strike against the Iraqi regime.
In a discussion with CNN, the crown prince said he believed that Iraq will accept the reintroduction of U.N. weapons inspectors.
Abdullah said it is important that Iraq remain unified and said he opposes any attempt to split the country.
He said if the United States wants to overthrow Hussein it will have to put an army on the ground in Iraq, and he said he does not believe such an effort would end in an U.S. victory.
The Saudi leader also said he will go forward to present his initiative to the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon, later this month calling for Arab states to normalize relations with Israel if the Jewish state withdraws to its borders before the 1967 Six Day War.
He said the initiative is intended to be a message to the Israeli people that a peace deal is possible.
Abdullah said he will present his proposal to the Arab League, and if the Arab countries go along, the Arab nations will make the proposal to the United Nations.
Asked about Israeli offers to meet with Saudi officials publicly or privately to discuss the proposal, Abdullah said such a meeting would not be possible at the present time.
Abdullah said he is offering his initiative because he believes Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has carried out "atrocities" against the Palestinian people and he wants to stop the killing.
"For those who want to resolve the conflict, the initiative provides a good solution," said the crown prince.
Asked he if believed his initiative would succeed, Abdullah said the changes of success or failure were "50-50." Asked if the United States would support his initiative, the crown prince said U.S. officials have not fully endorsed it yet.
Abdullah said Saudi Arabia's relationship with the United States remains "very good."
Asked about Osama bin Laden, the crown prince said he does not view the exiled terrorist to be "a threat anymore." Abdullah said he believed that bin Laden financed his operations through money from drug trafficking, adding if the world wants to fight terrorism it must fight drug trafficking.
Abdullah said he does not know if bin Laden is still alive.
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