ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Saudi Arabia (search) and Pakistan (search) said Sunday they would not send any troops to Iraq without a clear invitation from the Iraqi people, while Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah (search) denounced Muslim extremists for "disfiguring" Islam.
Abdullah's talks with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf (search) brought together the leaders of two key nations in the U.S.-led war on terrorism. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan both have worked closely with the United States against Al Qaeda and both have had to deal with violent Islamic militants at home.
"A handful of criminal terrorists have destroyed our relations with other people," said Abdullah, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia. "They have disfigured the picture of Islam and Muslims. We should fight this small group and prove their claims wrong."
Speaking from a podium decked with flowers alongside Musharraf, Abdullah called for an end to extremism and hatred and to create "a garden of tolerance and unity" in the Muslim world.
"All those criminals who create chaos on earth, who spill blood and kill innocent people, they have lost their way. They claim to work for God and his prophet," Abdullah said in the speech, aired on state-run television. "They are saying only lies."
The reluctance to send troops to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, expressed at a news conference earlier Sunday by the Saudi and Pakistani foreign ministers, came four days after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution urging all U.N. member states to contribute money and troops. Pakistan, a member of the 15-nation council, voted for the resolution.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal (search) said it was premature to talk about sending troops to Iraq until it is clear that Iraqis want such troops. The U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council already has opposed an offer of Turkish troops, and members have spoken out against the prospect of peacekeepers from neighboring nations.
"The express opinion of the Iraqi people has not been shown to us, and until that time ... we will not send any troops," al-Faisal told the news conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri (search).
Al-Faisal left open whether a call for troops by the Iraqi Governing Council (search) would constitute a legitimate request, or whether a broader call by all Iraqi political leaders would be needed.
Kasuri said Pakistan's armed forces have their hands full trying to seal the country's border with Afghanistan, and also maintain a large presence on the frontier with archrival India. But he said the country would consider a troop request from Iraq.
"If the people of Iraq ask for help, Pakistan as a brotherly country will do what it can. But we will wait for that to happen," he said.
Pakistani news reports said Saudi Arabia was interested in buying remote-controlled pilotless planes, armored personnel carriers and other military equipment produced by Pakistan.
"We already have security cooperation. We are both facing the same challenges and we are cooperating in every way we can," al-Faisal said when asked whether any defense or security agreements were signed during the visit.