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article imageSaudi Arabia warns about interference in domestic affairs

By Leo Reyes     Mar 10, 2011 in Politics
Prince Saud al-Faisal, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia and nephew of the Kingdom's ruler King Abdullah, said Wednesday his country rejects any foreign interference in its domestic affairs.
Addressing protests by Shiites in the majority Sunni Kingdom in recent days to demand more freedom and democracy, the influential Foreign Minister said Saudi Arabia "rejects any foreign interference in its internal affairs."
The Prince said change would come from within as he warned that Shiites protests will not bring reform and instead urged for peaceful dialogue.
"Change will come through the citizens of this kingdom and not through foreign fingers, we don't need them," he said during a news conference. "We will cut any finger that crosses into the kingdom.", the Prince said.
Most recent protests started in January when hundreds of protesters gathered in Jeddah where 11 people were killed after police acted swiftly to disperse the protesters.
Last month, some 40 women wearing black clothes staged a small demonstration in Riyadh calling for the release of prisoners who are being held without trial.
On February 18, founding members of the newly formed Umma Islamic Party, were arrested by police and were asked to withdraw their demands for the end of absolute monarchy in the Kingdom in exchange for their release.
Last week several arrests were made by police on a group protesters in Al-Awamiyah, Qatif, Riyadh and Hofuf for criticizing the monarchy.
Alarmed by the sustained efforts of protesters, authorities reminded them that such actions are banned under existing laws and they will be enforced.
A "Day of Rage" is being planned by the protesters on March 11, demanding ouster of the regime and a call for election for national leadership, among others.
The protesters are using Facebook to rally supporters to their cause which they said had 26,000 members as of March 5.
Meanwhile fears of heightened protests in the region including Saudi Arabia are causing apprehension among investors.
Risk.net reports, “If the demonstrations and unrest spread to Saudi, there is a real danger seven or eight million barrels of oil per day could fall,” says Nigel Rendell, emerging market strategist at RBC Capital Markets. “If that happens, people’s guesses on the oil market are wide open, which will have a huge impact on the market in the region and other countries.”
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