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Sat 6 Apr 2013 10:19 AM

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Alwaleed says no Arab country immune to unrest

Saudi billionaire says each nation has to look at demands and needs of its people

Alwaleed says no Arab country immune to unrest

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia has warned no country in the Arab world was immune to the protests that swept the Arab world over the past two years and toppled leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

“I don’t call it the Arab Spring I call it Arab destruction,” said billionaire Alwaleed who is a nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

“Each country has to look at the demands and needs of its people... if anyone believes they have some kind of immunity I say that’s a big mistake; there is no immunity at all,” Alwaleed added.

He made the comments during a three-hour interview on his Rotana entertainment channel about his views on the protests that swept the Arab world over the last two years.

“Who expected Egypt to have a revolution? Hosni Mubarak 24 hours before he stepped down he thought he was staying... if anyone thinks this spark won’t come to their country they’re mistaken.”

He said there was no stability in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya and that Morocco and Jordan had avoided the problems of other countries by following a reformist path.

“Gulf countries have wise leaderships that look after the interests of their people,” Alwaleed said.

Last year, Alwaleed said in a column written for Arabian Business that surviving Arab governments should begin the process of reform.

He said it was an opportune time, particularly for the Arab monarchical regimes, "to begin adopting measures that will bring about greater participation of the citizenry in their countries' political life".

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