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Saudi Arabia backs terror fight

Crown Prince Abdullah said
Crown Prince Abdullah said "nothing can ever justify the shedding of innocent blood or the taking of lives"  

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah has written to U.S. President George W. Bush giving his country's "sincere condolences and sympathy" for the September 11 attacks.

In the letter, released on Tuesday and addressed to the American people, the prince says Saudi Arabia is also prepared to do its "utmost" to combat terrorism.

In the two-page letter, he said he would never forget the carnage and suffering caused by the terrorist attacks, and how the country's response proved America's strength.

He also expressed "great pain" that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens, saying they were persuaded to turn against the principles of their Muslim faith in carrying out the attacks.

He wrote: "It was the perverted hope of the perpetrators of this heinous crime that they could bring humiliation to and terrorise the American nation.

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"But the brave people of the United States of America, whose greatness lies in the strength of its brave sons and daughters in facing adversity, and which is enriched by their remarkable achievements, all of this will make them ever stronger than the designs of the evildoers."

Saudi Arabia is being sued by families of victims of the September 11 attacks who say members of the royal family paid protection money to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network to keep it from carrying out attacks on Saudi soil.

The foreign policy adviser to the crown prince, Adel Al-Jubeir, has denied the claims.

In his letter, the crown prince praised America for gaining resolve and standing strong instead of being victimised by terrorism -- which he called "pure evil."

He added: "We in Saudi Arabia felt an especially great pain at the realisation that a number of young Saudi citizens had been enticed and deluded and their reasoning subverted to the degree of denying the tolerance that their religion embraced, and turning their backs on the homeland, which has always stood for understanding and moderation."

He said the terrorists allowed themselves to "be used as a tool to do great damage to Islam" and wanted to hurt the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

"I would like to make it clear that true Muslims all over the world will never allow a minority of deviant extremists to speak in the name of Islam and distort its spirit of tolerance," he said.

"We, like you, are convinced that nothing can ever justify the shedding of innocent blood or the taking of lives and the terrorising of people, regardless of whatever cause or motive."

He ended the letter by wishing for a "new world" that enjoys freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony.




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