Saudi ambassador says his country does not back any presidential candidate

Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed al-Qattan said that his country will not involve itself in the Egyptian presidential election and does not back any candidate.

In an interview with Al-Arabiya news channel on Monday, Qattan asserted that contrary to rumors that the kingdom supports Amr Moussa, Saudi Arabia is not in fact supporting any presidential candidate behind the scenes.

Qattan said that Amr Moussa is a statesman who has broad support, and that the Egyptian media has claimed that the reward he received from the Arab League was from Saudi Arabia.

Privately owned Al-Masryoon newspaper reported last May that Saudi Arabia had allocated a US$5 million reward to Moussa for his service as Arab League secretary general. Some activists on online social networks like Facebook and Twitter believe the reward was support for Moussa's presidential campaign.

Moussa denied receiving funds from Saudi Arabia for his election campaign in an interview with London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in January.

Saudi Arabia was the first country to offer financial support of Egypt after the revolution, Qattan said. He added that the Egyptian revolution was the result of the Egyptian people suffering oppression and injustice for a long time in response to claims that Gulf countries are worried about the Arab revolutions being exported to them.

Saudi Arabia was one of the primary supporters of the ousted regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, with which Moussa is often accused of being affiliated. The kingdom announced its full support for Mubarak during the 25 January uprising last year that eventually brought down the regime.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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