A statement from HRH Princess Basmah

Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has expressed their condolences upon the death of my eldest brother, Mohammed bin Saud, who will be sadly missed.

Secondly, on Sunday 8 July 2012 a story appeared in the Sunday Telegraph, a British newspaper, about Princess Sara bint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is seeking political asylum in the United Kingdom. I have received many phones calls and emails asking me whether I intend to do the same, so I would like to clarify my position and set the record straight in this statement.

I wish to make it clear that I will not, and have never intended to, claim political asylum anywhere. I am a proud and devoted citizen of Saudi Arabia, a country which my grandfather, Abdel Aziz, and my father, Saud, were founders of. I have never been threatened by the Saudi authorities, and nor will I ever consider relinquishing my right to hold a Saudi diplomatic passport.

Through my articles and activities over the last 7 years, I have been promoting reform and humanitarian compassion in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and beyond, and will not launder any personal problems I may or may not have in the media.

I am also a businesswoman who provides for herself and her family far from any disputes that other royals may be having, so I personally bear no part of any scandal that may befall the royal family – much less the prospect of political asylum.

I have never encountered any threats, nor do I ever wish to, but I realise I have taken an unusual career path, especially as a member of the Saudi royal family. Therefore I wished to avoid any confusion with other and separate issues relating to the royal family and clarify the situation.

I am the director of The Lanterns Global Organization, a not-for-profit organisation that builds contacts, promotes the work of other humanitarians and provides, and encourages a “reform not revolution” agenda. The Lanterns provides moral and logistical support to men and women in many different fields and many different countries across the world who work tirelessly and fearlessly in support of humanitarian issues.

I wished to clarify that this is my role in life, and to underline my total devotion to my King and country, not forgetting that my grandfather and father were the founders of Saudi Arabia. I feel privileged to be part of such a history and heritage, but do despair at the levels of injustice and corruption that can be seen in some areas. This is why I am committed to my cause both in Saudi and globally.

I feel privileged to be part of such a history and heritage, although like any country, Saudi Arabia has its challenges and I will continue to call for reform where I see injustice and corruption. This is why I am committed to my cause both in Saudi Arabia and globally.

All work I do is as a proud Saudi citizen who wants to support and help her King and country.

HRH Princess Basmah bint Saud ibn Abdel Aziz al Saud, 10 July 2012


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