Saudi Arabia's foreign minister indicated Wednesday that his country may not attend a Middle East peace conference called by US President George W. Bush for later this year if it won't address issues of real susbtance.
Washington has hoped for Saudi Arabia to attend the gathering, expected this fall and aimed at pushing forward the Arab-Israeli peace process. The kingdom's presence would be the first time it has joined as a participant in a peace conference with Israel.
But Arab countries have been concerned the conference will be symbolic without addressing the toughest issues of the Arab-Israeli conflict - such as the status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.
"The kingdom sees no benefit in any peace meeting or conference if it is not comprehensive and if it doesn't tackle major issues," al-Faisal told a news conference. "If the conference doesn't provide these things, then the kingdom's participation is doubtful."