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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 August, 2004, 00:10 GMT 01:10 UK
Saudi adverts avow loyalty to US
By Jeremy Cooke
US correspondent

A Saudi and a Lebanese friend discuss the film Fahrenheit 9/11
The film Fahrenheit 9/11 has stoked some distrust of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has launched a series of radio advertisements in the US aimed at restoring the kingdom's battered public image there.

The announcements stress that Saudi Arabia is a loyal ally in the fight against al-Qaeda.

The Saudis appear to have been stung by heavy criticism in the US press and mass media.

There have been repeated claims that the Saudi government is not fully committed to the fight against terror.

The theme has been taken up, among others, by the Democratic Party's presidential candidate, Senator John Kerry, who has repeatedly questioned the will of the Saudis to take on al-Qaeda.

Commission conclusion

Now, the Saudis are clearly determined to act to restore their damaged image among ordinary Americans.

Saudi officials have launched two radio commercials in 19 key cities across the US, which quote from the US commission that investigated the 11 September attacks.

The broadcasts stress that the commission found there was no evidence that the Saudi government supported or funded al-Qaeda and insist that their country is a strong ally and committed friend of the US.

There is no mention of other comments published in the commission's report, which conclude that Saudi Arabia is a problematic ally in combating Islamic terrorism.

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