RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia (search) is unlikely to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq, even under a U.N. mandate, the Saudi deputy defense minister said in remarks published Saturday.
Prince Khaled bin Sultan spoke to the Okas daily as the United States worked to secure a new U.N. resolution to persuade more countries to contribute troops and money to postwar Iraq (search).
Prince Khaled said it would not be a good idea for neighboring states to send troops to Iraq.
"As a professional military man, and an expert in heading joint troops, I say there is no benefit in having troops from neighboring countries (deployed) in Iraq," said Prince Khaled, who commanded Arab and Islamic forces during the 1991 Gulf War (search) in Kuwait.
Syria has said it would consider sending peacekeeping forces to Iraq if a deadline is set for a U.S. troop withdrawal and if the United Nations assumes control of its war-ravaged neighbor.
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa told Al-Hayat while in New York for the U.N. General Assembly that Arab states will not send forces to Iraq to "defend occupation troops."
"If any Arab country is considering sending troops, this will be after they get a request from those concerned, the Iraqis," Moussa was quoted as saying.
"We care about Iraq, not the occupation."