Saudi Arabia's military will take the first losses among the multinational forces opposing Iraq if war breaks out, the Saudi commanding general said Saturday.

"We believe that if our friends are here to shed their blood for us, the least we can do is to put my forces right in front," Prince Khalid bin Sultan, a nephew of King Fahd, told reporters."And if there is any bloodshed, I can assure you Saudis will take it before their friends."

The prince, who shares authority of the multinational force in Saudi Arabia with the U.S. commander, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, declined to speculate on whether Washington's offer to talk to Iraq represented a "last chance" to avoid war.

"We hope this problem will be solved with peaceful means, using our brains. We hope President Saddam (Hussein) will come to his senses - we don't want to go to war," said the prince.