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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Wednesday his country rejects any interference in its domestic affairs and would "cut off" any accusing finger.
Shiite protesters have taken to the streets in the majority Sunni kingdom in recent days demanding more freedom and democracy, mirroring the unrest across the Middle East and North Africa.
Faisal, who is the nephew of King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, said Saudi Arabia "rejects any foreign interference in its internal affairs."
He warned that Shiite protests would not bring reform and urged dialogue with the demonstrators.
"The reform... does not come via protests and [the clerics] have forbidden protests since they violate the Koran and the way of the Prophet," the prince said.
He said change would come from within.
"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."
Amnesty International has called on the world's largest oil exporter to drop the restriction of peaceful protests, after a brutal crackdown last week on a demonstration in a Shiite region.
Saudis have the right to free assembly, U.S. State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said earlier this week.
JEDDAH, March 9 (RIA Novosti)
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- beckiweaver(no title)22:38, 09/03/2011Same rhetoric we heard from all the other dictators, just before they were taken down. Don't you get it - the youth of the world are taking their world back. They are standing on the side of FREEDOM, and it has nothing to do with the West. Your own people are rejecting the corrupt ways of the elites who've set themselves in place as "leaders," but instead are corrupt control-freaks. Out with the old, and in with the new - Saudi Arabia is next, and there aint no 2 ways about it.