Monday, October 29, 2007


King Abdullah says Britain is not doing enough to fight terrorism
Saudi king interview

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has accused Britain of not doing enough to fight international terrorism, which he says could take 20 or 30 years to beat.
He was speaking in a BBC interview ahead of a state visit to the UK - the first by a Saudi monarch for 20 years.
He also said Britain failed to act on information passed by the Saudis which might have averted terrorist attacks.
King Abdullah is expected to arrive in the UK on Monday afternoon; his visit begins formally on Tuesday,
In the BBC interview he said the fight against terrorism needed much more effort by countries such as Britain and that al-Qaeda continued to be a big problem for his country.
BBC world affairs correspondent John Simpson says King Abdullah is annoyed that the rest of the world has largely failed to act on his proposal for a UN clearing house for information about terrorism.
Speaking through an interpreter, the Saudi monarch said he believed most countries were not taking the issue seriously, "including, unfortunately, Great Britain".
"We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain but unfortunately no action was taken. And it may have been able to maybe avert the tragedy."
The Saudi leadership maintains that it passed the UK information that might have averted the London bombings of 2005 if it had been acted on.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says Whitehall officials have strenuously denied this, and a subsequent investigation by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) found no evidence of any intelligence passed on by the Saudis that could have prevented the 7 July 2005 bombings.
The king's visit has provoked controversy over Britain's relationship with Saudi Arabia.
A demonstration is planned outside the Saudi embassy in London later in the week in protest at the country's human rights record.
And acting Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has announced he is boycotting the visit, citing the corruption scandal over Al Yamamah arms deal, and the Saudis' human rights record.



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