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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Text of report by London-based newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat website on 17 February
[Interview with Resigning Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki al-Faysal, by Muhammad Ali Salih, from Washington: "Prince Turki al-Fysal: I Have Resigned Because I Am Exhausted After 30 Years of Government Work"]
Prince Turki al-Faysal has terminated recently his work as Saudi ambassador to the United States after spending one year and four months in this post. Al-Sharq al-Awsat met Prince Turki in his office in the Saudi Embassy in Washington before he ended his work there. During the interview he answered a number of questions published in US newspapers about the circumstances of his resignation. This is because he did not spend a long time in Washington, and his resignation was surprising. Prince Turki said that he resigned for personal and family reasons, and that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdallah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz, agreed to his resignation before it was announced. Prince Turki al-Faysal denied the existence of disputes between him and Saudi officials, or among the Saudi officials over the relations with Iran. He stressed that the Saudi-US relations were strong, and that the Kingdom was following a balanced policy in the field of oil. Prince Turki said that the Iraqi people, despite the current events, would emerge strong and united. He described Iraq as the safety valve of the region, and said that it had been exposed to invasions in the past. The following is the text of the interview:
[Salih] Why have you resigned after a period that was not long?
[Turki] The fact is that I am exhausted, and I found out that I have been away from the family, and that I need rest after more than 30 years of work for the state and in the service of the King and country. I asked the permission of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to allow me to leave this post, and he, God reward him, agreed.
[Salih] Why was the permission coupled with predictions in US newspapers about disputes?
[Turki] My job is not to follow up predictions. I did what I did on the basis of private reasons that concern me personally. Whoever wants to predict something, this is up to him.
[Salih] Perhaps one of the reasons of the predictions is that there has been no statement from the Royal Court as usual in these cases, because the news was published first in US newspapers?
[Turki] I have no explanation for this. I know that when I asked the permission of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, he, God keep him safe, agreed that I leave my job. I have been told (that my resignation was accepted) by my superior, Foreign Minister Prince Sa'ud al-Faysal, and I told him that I would convey this to the US officials and to the colleagues at the embassy here. He said to me, "Go with God." I believe that he announced a few days later at a …