Saudi donates $10 million to Trade Center fund but criticizes U.S. policies

Thursday, October 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ An outspoken member of the Saudi royal family issued a statement criticizing U.S. policies while visiting the World Trade Center ruins and presenting the city with a $10 million check for relief efforts.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a major investor in American companies and one of hundreds of princes in the Saudi royal family, toured ground zero and called it ``a tremendous crime.''

``It's just unbelievable,'' he said. ``We are here to tell America and to tell New York that Saudi Arabia is with the United States wholeheartedly.''

But in a statement distributed by an aide, the prince said that ``at times like this one we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack.''

``I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause,'' Alwaleed said. ``Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek.''

Alwaleed is chairman of Kingdom Holding Co. and was sixth on Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest men for 2001.

He did not criticize U.S. policies in his speech, saying instead, ``I came here to show my allegiance to New York.''

Alwaleed said prime terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, does not represent the Wahabi sect of Islam, which is practiced only in Saudi Arabia.

``This guy does not belong to Wahabis,'' he said. ``He does not belong to Islam or any religion in the whole world.''