Ambassador Saad Al-Arifi, the leader of the Saudi mission to the EU, said in an October 29, 2021 interview on Alsharq TV (Saudi Arabia) that Saudi Arabia will allow no interferences in its sovereignty, and he criticized some members of the European Parliament for having personal agendas or of being influenced by lobbies and NGOs. He said that human rights are important to Saudi Arabia, that Saudi Arabia is taking the time that it needs to make changes in its society, and that some of the demands made by some MEPs are incompatible with Saudi values and society. Later in the interview, he said that the war in Afghanistan and its aftermath is proof that values cannot be imposed by force.
To view the clip of Ambassador Saad Al-Arifi on MEMRI TV, click here or below.
"Saudi Arabia's Sovereignty Is Where We Draw The Line"
Saad Al-Arifi: "Saudi Arabia's sovereignty is where we draw the line. Saudi Arabia will not allow any interference or dictates from here or there. There are many such examples. Everybody knows that Saudi Arabia is serious about its sovereignty. The Europeans understand this. The only ones who do not get it are some [European] Parliament members, who have their own agendas or are paid by lobbies that also have special agendas.
"Naturally, human rights are important to Saudi Arabia just as they are important to the Europeans, but those [European Parliament members] do not give others a chance and do not listen to opinions from the real source that can provide them with accurate information. They take information from unreliable sources, and from people with their own agendas, but all the information they have – or most of it – is wrong."
"Some MEPs Obey The Orders Of Some NGOs, Which Sometimes Demand Things That Are Impossible, Due To [Our] Different Values, Religion, Region, And Society"
"We keep clarifying matters to them, and some of them accept the accurate information, while others do not. They shut themselves off, and use extremely offensive rhetoric towards Saudi Arabia. In any case, the resolutions of the European Parliament are non-binding. They are only meant to appease the people who voted for those MEPs. The other EU institutions share our opinions. They tell us that the European Parliament is a nuisance to them, as European officials. It is not just a nuisance to foreign countries, but also to us, the European officials.
"Some MEPs obey the orders of some NGOs, which sometimes demand things that are impossible, due to [our] different values, religion, region, and society. All those things need time. It took the West 200 years to reach where it is now, and we are taking the time that we need to generate change."
"The American Withdrawal From Afghanistan, After Spending $143 Billion... This Should Prove To Everybody That Values Cannot Be Imposed By Force"
"Some of the values that the West upholds are not compatible with or suitable to our society, or even our religion. We explain this to them and many of them understand this. However, some small and limited groups insist that these values should be universal.
"The American withdrawal from Afghanistan, after spending $143 billion... The U.S. pulled out overnight, leaving everything behind... This should prove to everybody that values cannot be imposed by force, and that countries should be given the chance to apply their own values, and to decide their own path for themselves."