Statement from Saudi Embassy in Washington on Expulsion of Diplomats
Washington, Jan 30, SPA -- In response to reports pirating to expulsion of
some Saudi diplomats from the US, Ambassador Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Kattan, the
Deputy Chief of the Saudi Diplomatic Mission in the US, in a statement to
SPA, said that in line with the directives of the Custodian of the two Holy
Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies
was established in America more than 15 years ago.
He noted that the Institute still receives the support of the Saudi
leadership and Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Ambassador
to the US.
The institute was established for teaching Arabic language for non-Arabic
speaking people as well s for preaching the Islamic religion in America.
With the grace of Almighty Allah, the Institute has attained significant
Names of employees of the Institutes, who are originally employees at
Riyadh-based Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University, were registered at
the US State Department as diplomatic employees, and subsequently they
acquired visas of A 2 like the administrative employees working at the Saudi
Following the incidents of Sept 11, 2001, the US State Department started to
strictly implement the diplomatic systems. These diplomatic systems
stipulate that all diplomats and administrators who carry visa of type A 1
or A 2 should work inside the embassy or its offices that are approved by
the US State Department like the offices of the military attache and the
These systems do not conform to employees of the Institute which was
registered a non-profitable Saudi charitable foundation.
Ambassador Kattan pointed out that the US State Department had asked the
departure of these employees because they were not practicing any form of
diplomatic work, in addition to the fact that they were working outside the
building of the embassy.
Some few days ago, the Saudi Embassy received an official memorandum asking
the departure of these employees to the Kingdom within 30 days.
Subsequently the employees were informed with these developments.
It was an impossible matter for the Embassy to interfere or mediate as long
as the work of the aforesaid employees was outside the building of the
embassy in violation to the diplomatic norms.
'The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the right to implement the principle of
reciprocity, said Ambassador Al-Kattan noting that earlier the US
authorities were overlooking the Saudi employees who were working at the
Institute, the Saudi Academy or the offices of television and the Saudi
Press Agency (SPA).
But after the incidents of Sept 11, 2001, the situation was changed , and
the US Statement Department asked only the remaining of diplomats who
regularly work at the Embassy.
In the light of these developments, the Embassy allocated offices inside its
building for the personnel of the National Guard, SPA in addition to the
offices of the commercial and health attaches, which were originally inside
the building of the Embassy since its inauguration.
So the personnel of the these offices will not face such problems.
Al-Kattan made it clear that the departure of these employees to the Kingdom
does not mean that the Institute has been closed or stopped from performing
On the contrary, the Institute will legally be turned into a charitable
American foundations, and subsequently it will be possible for personnel of
universities in the Kingdom to obtain regular entry visas to the US and to
work at the Institute.
He noted that the same employees could return to the US to practice their
former work, or to visit the US for any other purpose.
1523 Local Time