Published: January 12, 2003
preview / download NEW YORK — January 12, 2003 — As America prepares for a possible war with Iraq, NBC News Today will broadcast live from Saudi Arabia on Monday and Tuesday, January 13 and 14 to offer perspective on the oil capital of the world and its citizens — this at a time when the region remains the focus of the world’s attention. Co-anchor Katie Couric will examine Saudi Arabias religious powers, its government, its alleged ties to Osama bin Laden and various Al Queda roots, and the people who live their everyday lives amongst such tension.
Couric sat down with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah for his first ever television interview. Crown Prince Abdullah is King Fahds half brother, and has held the Kings responsibilities of running the country since the King suffered a stroke in 1995. This interview will air Monday, January 13 during the 7 AM half-hour of Today.
Excerpts from the interview to follow:
I must say I have a strange sense that it may not come to war. In spite of the momentum and build-up in that direction I believe that force only begets death and destruction. It does not build anything. And that is why I hope my sense that it will not come to war is correct.
I believe that understanding and give and take is how one arrives at settling problems. There is no problem that has no solution. I believe that wars are destructive and damaging and do not – are not constructive. We must provide every opportunity to reaching an accommodation, an agreement.
At the Prince Sultan Air Force Base, which is jointly owned by the U.S., Couric will talk to some of the 5,000 American Air Force personnel that are responsible for patrolling Iraqs no-fly zone. She will sit down with Defense Minister Khalid bin Sultan, a royal family member who ran Saudi Arabias military operations during Desert Storm.
Additional segments planned for the two days include a live interview with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud, a visit to Madain Saleh, a well-preserved ancient city virtually unknown to Americans, a look at why the region is so important to the U.S. and an in-depth look at the role of women in Saudi Arabia.
Photos will be made available at www.nbcmv.com.