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Saudi King: Terrorism is our enemy

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Saudi King Abdullah stressed that his country is a fierce enemy of terrorism and has been introducing social and political reforms slowly but steadily.

"The Saudi kingdom is an enemy of terrorism and is combating it," Abdullah was quoted as saying in an interview with the Indian NDTV, broadcast at the same time on national Saudi television Sunday night.

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"The parties and people who speak about Saudi support to terrorism are liars and have bad intentions and objectives for making claims which all the world know are untrue," Abdullah said.

"Terrorism is an enemy of the Saudi kingdom which is itself a victim of terrorism... We do not support extremism and terrorism," he said, wondering "how could anyone help his enemy?"

The king also underscored social and economic reforms which he said are being introduced "slowly but steadily" to ensure appropriate development and change.

He noted that Saudi women are now able to get a proper education, work and participate in elections, in reference to recent elections in chambers of commerce and industry.

"We only make one step at a time, but a firm one and we are moving on the path," he said.

Abdullah, whose country is the world's largest oil producer and possesses more than a third of international oil reserves, said oil prices are higher than normal and need to be adjusted in a more equitable way.

He said the current oil prices are harming developing nations "and as such they need to be more moderate and just."

Abdullah started an official visit to China on Sunday, the first by a Saudi monarch since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1990. He visits India later in the week.

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