Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Oman FM discuss issues of mutual concern

King Abdullah discusses regional, international developments with German FM, economic cooperation with Chinese trade minister

Second Deputy Premier sends message to Sudanese interior minister

Governor of Riyadh opens photo gallery about Crown Prince Sultan’s achievements

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud held a meeting at his ranch with Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdullah.

During the meeting, the Omani Minister conveyed the greetings of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. In turn, the King sent his greetings to the Sultan.

Several issues of common interest were discussed during the meeting which was attended by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

King Abdullah received at his palace German's Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, Westerwelle conveyed the greetings of German's Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. In turn, the King sent his greetings to the Chancellor.

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues at regional and international arenas.

The meeting was attended by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Foreign Minister; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Dr. Osama Shobokshi, Saudi Ambassador to Germany; and German Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Volkmar Wenzel.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle held a joint press conference following their meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh.

Prince Saud said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sees the importance of intensifying efforts to make the Middle East and the gulf region free of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons including Israeli nuclear program. Such efforts will provide peace and security for all states in the region, making no justification for the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region.

At the outset of the press conference, Prince Saud welcomed the German minister and the accompanying delegation, saying 'This is the first visit of Westerwelle to the Kingdom. Our meeting was a good opportunity to discuss thoroughly and comprehensively a wide range of issues on enhancing bilateral cooperation and exchanging views on regional and international issues of common interest'.

Prince Saud described the talks between the two side as constructive and positive, especially in light of common desire to expand bilateral relations in economic, cultural, technical and medical fields.

'The German Foreign Minister briefed us on Germany's intention to consider the possibility of facilitating Visa procedures for Saudi citizens which, in turn, will enhance joint cooperation in these fields', Prince Saud said.

'The peace process was the main focus of the talks, particularly in light of regional and international actions to revive the peace process as well as the importance of consolidating efforts to achieve just and comprehensive settlement of the conflict which, in turn, will lead to the establishment of a viable independent Palestinian state in the framework of a two-state solution', Prince Saud added.

In this regard, Prince Saud pointed out the position of Germany and the European Union which emphasizes the illegality of Israeli settlement policy and considers such policy as a major obstacle to the resumption of peace process. 'We are looking forward to the practical steps translating such position into the interest of the peace, taking into account that freezing settlements is a main commitment to the peace process and not a Palestinian condition to resume negotiations, as Israel is trying to promote. We see the European position supporting the Palestinian right in Al-Quds city as an important step in the context of dealing with the legitimate Palestinian rights and focusing on the core issues of the conflict. This was affirmed by the Arab peace initiative', Prince Saud said.

'We also discussed the Iranian nuclear crisis in light of the efforts exerted by the G5+1 of which Germany is a member.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia welcomes the efforts exerted by the group to resolve the crisis through dialogue and peaceful means. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is looking forward to Iran's response to these efforts, as they ensure the right of Iran and the states in the region to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the procedures and standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and related international agreements. Iran cooperation would remove regional and international doubts and concerns over its nuclear program', Prince Saud added.

Prince Saud also said that the meeting dealt with the situation in Afghanistan, highlighting the importance of having civil efforts besides the military efforts in order to build the state, its institutions and infrastructure and to address the humanitarian situation of Afghan people. This, in turn, will support the efforts to combat terrorism as well as the efforts to achieve political, economic and social stability in Afghanistan.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stresses the importance of achieving reconciliation among Afghan people and preserving the national unity.

Prince Saud said that the talks also dealt with the situation in Yemen, stressing the support given by the two sides to Yemen's security, stability, development and unity.

The talks dealt with the international efforts to combat terrorism as well as the importance of intensifying such efforts, particularly in the field of exchanging information, Prince Saud said.

For his part, the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle thanked the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hospitality, describing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a key player in the Middle and Near East.

Westerwelle hailed the relations between the two countries, commending the Kingdom's wise policy in the region. The German minister said that there are great opportunities to enhance the current cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the economic field.

'We seek more investments and trade exchanges to serve the interests of both countries. We agree on many issues of common interest. We addressed the partnership between the two countries in a way that achieves the aspiration of the two countries in educational, economic and other fields', Westerwelle said.

Regarding Yemen, Prince Saud Al-Faisal reaffirmed the importance of supporting the legitimacy of Yemen as well as the Yemeni government to reach stability, saying that Yemen is currently in need of ending the fighting and stabilizing the situation in addition to making sure that there is no interference in Yemen's internal affairs by any party.

Also, Westerwelle highlighted in this regard his country's efforts to support security and stability of Yemen, saying that instability in Yemen should be stopped.

Regarding human rights, Prince Saud said that they were among the issues discussed during the meeting.

In Riyadh on Sunday, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with Westerwelle.

During the meeting, the Foreign Minister expressed his interest in learning from the OIC experience dealing with critical international issues.

He also expressed Germany’s readiness to intensify its bilateral relations with the OIC through exchange of views and sharing ideas.

The Secretary General briefed the German Minister on the current activities of the Organization within the framework of the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action and the OIC Charter especially in the areas of human rights, advancement of women and socio-economic development.

He also gave the Foreign Minister a brief account on the extent of OIC’s relations with the non-OIC countries as well as the OIC-EU relations.

A significant portion of their discussion centered on Palestine and the Middle East Peace Process.

The Secretary General invited the Foreign Minister to exert more efforts through the European Union to bring the Peace Process back on track. Their discussion also touched on other political issues notably the situation in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The Foreign Minister invited the Secretary General to visit Germany at his earliest convenience. On his part, the Secretary General thanked the Minister and invited him to visit the OIC headquarters during his next visit to Saudi Arabia. The Minister accepted the invitation. Both leaders agreed to strengthen further the cooperation between the OIC and Germany in the days to come.

The Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al-Attiyah received the German foreign minister.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest.

On the other hand, King Abdullah received Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and the accompanying delegation.

During the audience, the Minister conveyed to the King the greetings and appreciation of Chinese President Hu Jintao. In turn, the King sent his greetings to the President. A number of issues of mutual interest were also reviewed.

The audience was attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed Al Saud, Advisor to the King; Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf; and Saudi Ambassador to China Yahya Al-Zaid.

King Abdullah also received at his office at the Royal Court at Al-Yamamah Palace Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, the Minister of Education, accompanied by Faisal bin Muammar, Deputy Minister of Education; Dr. Khalid Al-Sabti, Deputy Minister for Boys Affairs; and Noora Al-Fayez, Deputy Minister for Girls Affairs.

During the audience, Prince Faisal briefed the King on the ministry's future plans seeking to raise the quality of education.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques stressed the importance of developing education at all levels.

The meeting was attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; and Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed Al Saud, Advisor to the King.

Meanwhile, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Premier, and Minister of Interior has sent a message to Sudanese Minister of Interior, Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid.

Saudi Ambassador to Sudan, Muhammad bin Abbas Al-Kalabi conveyed the message to the Sudanese Minister during a meeting.

During the meeting, Hamid extended thanks and gratitude to Prince Naif for supporting Arab ministers of interior, appreciated Saudi Arabia's continuous support to Sudan in general and hailed particularly Saudi Red Crescent Authority's activities in Sudan.

Prince Naif also received a message from Kuwaiti Premier Sheikh Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

The message was handed over to Prince Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, during a meeting with Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali.

Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Region, opened a photo gallery on Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, organized by Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities celebrating the safe return home of the Crown Prince and his recovery after a successful treatment journey.

The one-month gallery entitled 'Sultan - the Benevolent, History and Achievements' contains more than 200 photos of the Crown Prince on several occasions during his assumption of several posts.

The Prince honored participants in the gallery. The opening ceremony was attended by Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, the Minister of Education; Prince Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ayyaf Al Miqren, the Mayor of Riyadh; and a number of princes, ministers and officials.

Prince Salman also received German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, they reviewed issues of mutual interest.

The meeting was attended by Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the special advisor to the Governor, and other senior officials.

Prince Salman also received Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Saeed, the Head of the Saudi Society for Sunnah (the Prophet’s teachings) and its Sciences, accompanied by the members of the Society, who came to greet him on the occasion of his return to the country and the safety of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Premier, Defense and Aviation Minister and Inspector General.

During the meeting, they reviewed issues of mutual interest.

The meeting was attended by Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Special Advisor to the Governor.

Prince Salman also received Heads of Municipalities in Riyadh region who came to greet him on the occasion of his return to the country and the safety of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General.

During the meeting, Prince Salman reviewed with them issues of mutual interest.

The meeting was attended by Prince Dr Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Eyaf Al-Miqren, the Mayor of Riyadh and other senior officials.

Prince Salman also received British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia William Patey.

During the reception, they discussed a number of issues of common concern.

In Jeddah, Prince Mishal bin Majid bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Jeddah Governorate received President of the Human Rights Commission, Dr. Bandar Al-Aiban accompanied by SA-HRS Supervisor of Makkah Region branch, Dr. Abdullah Al-Qahtani.

During the meeting, Prince Mishal commended the role of the Saudi Arabian Human Rights in General and Makkah Branch in particular.

On his part, Dr. Al-Aiban stressed that the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia aims at protecting human rights in line with international standards and according to Islamic Shariah, through awareness and guidance.