Saudi Arabia supports the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, said Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal on Sunday after talks with visiting Austrian President Heinz Fischer.
Saud called for international recognition of the Hamas victory in "free, democratic elections" in January.
"Hamas is a resistance movement," Saud said at a Press conference with Austrian journalists. He predicted that Hamas would go through a similar development to the presently governing Fatah once it took over government.
The foreign minister said he had "no understanding" of the election result being described as unacceptable. Hamas had been legally elected and Hamas politicians must be given time, and not merely "dismissed as terrorists," he said.
Saud warned that punishing Hamas would be the same as punishing the Palestinian people.
On the Iranian nuclear dispute with the West, he said that if the leadership in Teheran had said it did not plan to build atomic bombs that should be taken seriously.
Saud pointed that Israel "already has the atomic bomb." The world community should call on Israel to give up its nuclear weapons programme. At present there were dual standards in questions of nuclear weapons, he said.
The foreign minister indicated scepticism about the new constitution in Iraq, which is based on ethnic groups and regionalisation. He said there was already civil war in Iraq, not just "danger of civil war."
Fischer, also representing the current Austrian EU presidency, began his talks in Saudi Arabia Saturday evening as guest at a state banquet hosted by King Abdullah.
On Sunday his schedule included meetings with the governor of Riyadh and a number of ministers.
Fischer and the Saudi Arabian side called for early implementation of an agreement between the EU and Gulf Cooperation Council, which has been under negotiation for more than ten years.