Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s practices, decision to build 1600 settlement housing units in Jerusalem

King Abdullah inaugurates ceremonies marking 25th anniversary of Janadriyah

Celebrations attended by King of Bahrain, Crown Prince Sultan, French minister of culture & communications

King Abdullah receives messages from King of Jordan, Emir of Qatar, meets Bosnia president, Russian president’s representative, UAE interior minister

Prince Salman receives Qatar PM, Bosnia president

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud patronized the opening ceremony of the 25th Janadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture organized by the National Guard at Janadriyah, Saudi Arabia.

Upon his arrival at the venue, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques was received by Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Executive Affairs and Vice-President of the Festival’s Supreme Committee; and a number of officials.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the United Arab Emirates; Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; and the guests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Royal anthem was played.

Then, the first round of the camel race started.

Following the first set of the camel race, the monarch handed over the prizes to the first five winners. The first and second winners also won additional gifts from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zaid Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, delivered to them by Sheikh Saif bin Zaid Al Nahyan. The first five winners Haddaj, Al-Sayel, Tuwaiq, Mash-hoor and Al-Taif were owned by Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz. Then the King and Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, toured the photo exhibition marking the 25th anniversary of the National Festival for Heritage and Culture in Al-Janadriyah.

During the tour, they were accompanied by Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz, Chief of Allegiance-Pledge Commission; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence, and other princes.

The King and his guests then performed Maghreb prayer. Then they graced a dinner party held on the occasion.

Then the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain graced, in the presence of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, the speech and arts grand ceremony held in a door-closed gallery in Al-Janadriyah.

In a key address, Prince Mit'eb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Executive Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee for the festival, welcomed the king and his guests, telling that, 'now Janadriyah cultural event doesn't need to be illustrated in words as it is here in front of all of you speaking about itself as a giant cultural edifice'.

Then the King honored this year's cultural personality. He decorated Mr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Idrees with King Abdulaziz Medal of the first class.

Then the Minister of Culture of France delivered a speech, thanking the organizers of the festival for choosing his country as this year's guest of honor.

He highlighted the deep-rooted cultural ties binding the Kingdom and France since the dispatch of a special envoy of Napoleon Bonaparte in the early era of the Kingdom.

He was followed by Morocco's Foreign Minister and former Minister of Culture Mohammed bin Isa who thanked the King, on behalf of literates, authors, and intellectuals who attend this session, for inviting them to this important cultural event.

Then the audience listened to a poem by Jassem Al-Saheeh, followed by Major General Khalaf bin Hazal Al-Otaibi, a renowned folkloric Saudi poet, who gave a new poem to mark the occasion.

Then they watched an opera performance titled 'unity of a homeland'.

Then the King of Bahrain, escorted by Crown Prince Sultan, left the scene. Then the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques left the scene with warm farewell.

The opening ceremony, the speech ceremony and the arts performance were attended by Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz, Chief of Allegiance-Pledge Commission; Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Bandar bin Mohammed bin Abdulrahman; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Abdul-Ilah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Saad; Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Khalid; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; other princes, guests of the Kingdom, ministers, guests of the festival, senior civil and military officials and a group of citizens.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah received a message from King Abdullah II of Jordan.

The message was handed over to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques by Jordanian Prime Minister Samir Al-Rifai during a meeting held by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques at his office at the Royal Court at Al-Yamamah Palace with the Jordanian Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, the Jordanian Prime Minister conveyed the greetings of Jordanian King Abdullah II to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. In turn, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques sent his greetings to the Jordanian King.

A number of issues of common interest were discussed during the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Miteb bin Abdulaziz; Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Abdul-Ilah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed Al Saud, Advisor to the King; Minister of Economy and Planning Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Qusaybi; and Jordanian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Qaftan Al-Majali.

King Abdullah also received a message from Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani.

The message was conveyed to the king by Qatari Premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabr Al Thani during an audience.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques received at his office at the Royal Court at Al-Yamamah Palace the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Haris Silajdzic and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, regional and international issues in addition to ways of enhancing cooperation between the two countries in all fields were discussed.

The meeting was attended by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Miteb bin Abdulaziz; Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Abdul-Ilah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Dr. Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed Al Saud, Advisor to the King; Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Mohammed Jamil Mulla; Saudi Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eid bin Mohammed Al-Thaqafi; and Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

King Abdullah also received at his office at the Royal Court at Al-Yamamah Palace Special Representative of Russian President in the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Sultanov and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, Sultanov conveyed the greetings of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin to the King. In turn, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques sent his greetings to the Russian leadership.

A number of regional and international issues were discussed during the meeting.

King Abdullah also received visiting Sheikh General Saif bin Zaid Al Nahyan, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

During the meeting, Al Nahyan conveyed to the King the greetings of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zaid Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. In turn, the King sent his greetings to the President.

The meeting was attended by Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz, Chief of Allegiance-Pledge Commission; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Mohammed bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the Minister of Interior; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; other princes; senior officials and the UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Al-Asry bin Saeed Al-Dhahiry.

On the other hand, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh region, received at his Palace in Al-Maazer Qatari Premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabr Al Thani and the accompanying delegation.

During the audience, they exchanged cordial talks and discussed issues of common interest.

Prince Salman also received the Chairman of Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr. Haris Silajdzicin and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, they exchanged cordial talks and discussed topics of common interest between the two friendly countries.

The meeting was attended by Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Special Advisor to Prince Salman; Minister of Communications and Information Technology Eng. Mohammed bin Jamil Ahmed Mulla; Saudi Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eid bin Mohammed Al-Thaqafi, and Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Razem Colec.

On the other hand, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Yamamah Palace.

At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the talks, contacts, meetings and consultations that took place during the past few days with a number of leaders of brotherly and friendly countries and their envoys on regional and international developments as well as ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said that the King briefed the Cabinet on the talks he held with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Haris Silajdzic, Jordanian Prime Minister Zaid Rifai, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Special Representative of Russian President in the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Sultanov and Qatari State Security Chief Mohammad bin Ahmad Al-Musnad. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also briefed the Cabinet on the messages he received from Jordanian King Abdullah II and Libyan Leader Muammar Al-Qaddafi.

Dr. Khoja also said that the Cabinet discussed a number of domestic issues, particularly the cultural activities including the award ceremony of 32nd King Faisal International Prize 2010 which was graced by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja also said that the Cabinet listened to reports on regional and international developments. The Cabinet praised the final statement of the 114th session of the Ministerial Council of GCC Foreign Ministers.

The Cabinet condemned the decision by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of 1600 housing units in the occupied Al-Quds in addition to its decision to build 112 settlement units in the West Bank. The Cabinet commended a number of countries for condemning this decision which reflects the insistence of the Israeli authorities to intensify the policy of settlement, expand the existing settlements and impose the policy of fait accompli by changing the demographic composition of the occupied Palestinian territories. The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom's call for the international community to stand firm in the face of all Israeli practices that aim at undermining the chances for peace, and to move quickly to stop all Israeli provocative practices, siege of the Palestinian people and defying of the will of the international community in bringing peace in the region.

Dr. Khoja said that the Cabinet reviewed a number of issues on its agenda and issued the following decisions:

The Cabinet agreed to add a new sub-paragraph (e) to paragraph (3) of Article (I) of the Cabinet decision No. (22) dated 29/01/1430H. The new sub-paragraph shall be read as follows: 'e- Whenever the need arises, the technical teams and committees shall be formed of specialists either from the representing parties in the environment council or other parties.'

The Cabinet authorized the Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister (or his deputy) to discuss and sign a draft Arab convention for the transfer of inmates of penal and correctional institutions.

The Cabinet authorized the Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister (or his deputy) to discuss and sign a draft Arab convention for the prevention of crimes against information technology.

The Cabinet authorized the Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister (or his deputy) to discuss and sign a draft of Arab convention against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Cabinet approved the appointment of the following persons as members of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority for a period of three years as of the effective date of this decision:

1- Eng. Mounir Mahmoud Bakr Rafie, Member. 2- Abdullah bin Hassan Al Al-Sheikh, Member. 3- Salem bin Mohammed Al-Malik, Member. 4- Khalaf bin Rabah Al-Shammari, Member. 5- Abdulrahman bin Saud Al-Belaihid, Member. 6- Dr. Muwafaq bin Atta Al-Bayouk, Member. 7- Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Abu Bakr, Member.

The Cabinet approved the controls of accepting student scholarships for non-Saudis in higher education institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Cabinet approved adding the following text to the end of Article (I) of the Cabinet decision No. (62) dated 10/03/1421H. The text shall be read as follows: 'The wife of employee delegated to work outside the Kingdom shall join the membership of the mission as soon as she studies the language, provided that she shall be accepted in any stage of higher education'.

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Finance (or his deputy) to discuss the preparation of a draft headquarters agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as similar agreements prepared by the Kingdom.

The Cabinet approved the appointment of the following:

1- Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Souli as Administrative Expert (Rank 15) at the Grievances Court. 2- Eng. Abdulrahman bin Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Zenidi as Civil Engineer Adviser (Rank 14) at the Municipality of Riyadh Region. 3- Transferring Ibrahim bin Suleiman bin Ibrahim Al-Moosa from the post of Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs (Rank 14) to the post of Director General of Customs (Rank 14) at the Customs Department. 4- Munif bin Darwish bin Zayed Al-Sumairi as Director General of Administration and Finance Affairs (Rank 14) at the Customs Department.