King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan enquire after President Hosni Mubarak’s health

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives intellectuals, scholars, writers in Janadriyah

Crown Prince donates SR20 million for charity fund for treatment of patients at Sultan bin Abdulaziz City for Humanitarian Services

Saudi Airlines signs 5 agreements under Crown Prince Sultan’s auspices

Saudi Arabia: World needs dialogue to tone down conflicts, eliminate extremism

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud telephoned Egyptian President Mohammad Honsi Mubarak to inquire after the president's health and congratulate him on the success of his recent surgery conducted in Germany.

The king wished the president constant good health.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, made a telephone call to Egypt's President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak.

During the call, the Crown Prince was reassured about the health of President Mubarak after undergoing a surgery in Germany recently.

The Crown Prince congratulated President Mubarak on the successful surgery, praying to Allah Almighty to grant him good health and wellness.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian television last week aired new footage of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been recovering in Germany after surgery, showing the president making phone calls from hospital.

Footage showed Mubarak, wearing a grey cardigan, sitting at a table and going over paperwork with his chief of staff Zakaria Azmi at the Heidelberg University Hospital where he underwent surgery on March 6.

The president was also seen making telephone calls, laughing and joking, as he resumed some political activity. Before the operation, Mubarak temporarily handed powers to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

"God willing at the end of the week," Mubarak said on the phone, in a possible reference to his return to Cairo.

"It's been a tough one," he said, laughing, the first time his voice was heard since surgery.

"These were pictures of President Mubarak looking well and following up on state matters," the presenter on Egyptian TV said.

The official MENA news agency said Mubarak had made several phone calls on Friday, including to Saudi King Abdullah and Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi to thank them for wishing him well.

"President Mubarak is continuing his contacts with Arab and world leaders and kings who made contacts earlier to check on his health," a statement from the ministry of information said.

Earlier, Mubarak issued a presidential decree appointing Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb the new grand imam of Al-Azhar -- Sunni Islam's main seat of learning -- after the sudden death of Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi on March 10.

He issued another decree establishing a church for Coptic Christians in the Helwan province.

On Tuesday, Egyptian TV had aired the first footage of Mubarak -- with no sound -- and his doctor had described him as "upbeat and in very good spirits."

Until then, the president had made no appearances in public or on television and no pictures of him had been published, causing a stock market dip on Monday over speculation about his health.

Professor Markus Buchler, the doctor who performed Mubarak's surgery, said on Tuesday that no further daily follow-up laboratory investigations were required.

Mubarak had his gall bladder and a growth on the small intestine removed on March 6.

Analysts say the president's health, usually a closely guarded secret that has led to journalists being punished for questioning it, has intensified talk over his eventual succession.

Mubarak, president since 1981, has no vice president. The veteran leader's fifth six-year term ends in 2011, but he has not indicated whether he will run again next year.

His son Gamal has not commented on widespread speculation that he would succeed his father.

In Riyadh, King Abdullah received at his palace a number of scholars, writers, intellectuals and media men from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and abroad who are guests of the National Guard attending the 25th National Festival for Heritage and Culture taking place now at Janadriyah.

The speech of Janadriyah Festival guests was delivered on their behalf by Lebanese Minister of Transport and Public Works Ghazi Aridi.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques wished them good luck and success.

Following that, the guests shook hands with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

The meeting was attended by Prince Abdul-Ilah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, Minister of Education; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Chief of National Guard for Executive Affairs, Vice-President of the Festival's Supreme Committee; 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; Prince Mansour bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; Assistant Deputy Chief of the National Guard and Vice-President of the Festival's Supreme Committee Abdulmohsen bin Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri; Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf Al Miqren, Undersecretary of National Guard for Regiment Affairs; Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja; and a number of officials.

Then, they all had lunch with of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Also in Riyadh, Crown Prince Sultan, who is also the Supreme President of Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Charity Foundation, donated SR20 million for the charity fund for treatment of patients at Sultan bin Abdulaziz City for Humanitarian Services.

This was announced by Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs, who is also the vice president of the council of trustees of the foundation and president of the board of directors of the fund, following a meeting of the fund's board of directors chaired by Prince Khalid.

Prince Khalid hailed the donation and said the number of patients treated at the expense of the fund since its inception until the end of 2009 reached 3352 patients from 18 different countries.

Under the auspices of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, and the Chairman of Saudi Arabian Airlines, a ceremony to sign a number of agreements with some national companies and banks, as well as some world houses of experience, took place within the executive program to privatize Saudi Airlines approved by the Supreme Economic Council, in light of its strategy.

Director General of Saudi Airlines, Eng. Khalid Al-Mulhim delivered a speech on the occasion to point out that these agreements are products of specialized scientific studies emanating from a strategic plan for all sectors of the corporation for the next coming years, in order to lay down the foundations that would make possible a qualitative move to upgrade the level of operational performance, enhance its services and work towards comprehensive restructuring of its strategic units.

Following the signing of these agreements, the signatories greeted the Crown Prince taking photos with him. Later, the Crown Prince chaired a meeting of the board of Saudi Airlines.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Crown Prince welcomed the members of the board.

The Director General Al-Mulhim presented a video show on the corporation achievements.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz hailed what was achieved by Saudi Airlines Corporation, and gave a directive to exert more efforts to serve citizens and pilgrims to continue the process of advancing and prosperity.

Crown Prince Sultan received at his palace Al-Aziziyah Maldives' Vice President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Maniku and the accompanying delegation.

The Vice President conveyed the greetings of Maldives' President Mohamed Nasheed to the Crown Prince. In turn, the Crown Prince sent his greetings to the President.

During the meeting, they discussed ways of enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries in all fields.

The meeting was attended by Prince Dr. Misha'al bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince; Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban; Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf; Chief of the Crown Prince's Court Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Hudeithi; Crown Prince's Special Secretary Mohamed bin Salem Al-Marri; Maldives' Minister of State for Financial Affairs Ahmed Asaad; and Maldives' Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Hussain Shihab.

On the other hand, Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Member of the Board of Directors of King Abdulaziz Public Library and President of the Council of Trustees of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Translation, patronized the ceremony of announcing the winners of the prize for 2009.

Prince Abdulaziz delivered a speech in which he highlighted the king's appreciation for the role of translation in boosting human values including dialogue, understanding and coexistence among peoples and civilizations.

Prince Abdulaziz thanked the king for patronizing and supporting this prize.

The winners of the prize were the General Egyptian Book General Organization (GEBO), Dr. Mohammad Alkhooli, Dr. Abdulqadir Mohairi, Dr. Hadadi Samood, Dr. Sharif Alwitaidi, Dr. Isam Aljamal, Dr. Nasir Al'aandas, Dr. Ahmad Ala'wais and Dr. Abdullah Alqahtani.

Two Translators, Professor Andre Mickel and Professor Abdulwahid Lolah. were honored for their distinction.

In the Philippine capital Manila, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said the world is in dire need for a comprehensive and deep-rooted dialogue that contributes to achieving justice, equality and noble values to bring about security and stability in the world away from the evils of hatred and wars and to enhance moderation, eliminate the causes of struggle and root out extremism.

This came in a speech delivered by Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Relations, on behalf of Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Foreign Minister, before the ongoing Nonaligned Nations conference in Manila.

He conveyed to the attendees the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, wishing them every success.

He said the developing countries need to consolidate the non-alignment notion more and more to guarantee non-biased approaches to either side of intellectual cold war, citing the disappearance of polarization axis and emergence of regional blocs and alliances instead.

He said the unilateral international relation has increased unprecedented political, economical, social and cultural crises, pushing the entire world community towards darkness.

Instead, the logic of dialogue and peaceful solutions should prevail.

He gave an account of the Kingdom's endeavors for adopting the principles of dialogue among the followers of different religions, cultures and civilization, citing the success of Madrid, Makkah and New York dialogue conferences, initiated by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

The Agricultural Development Bank launched seven initiatives in a workshop organized in the presence of Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf and Minister of Agriculture Dr. Fahd Balghunaim.

The initiatives included Agricultural Information Center; rationalization of water use in irrigation; establishment of one or more bodies for handling and marketing vegetables and fruits; cooperative insurance for animal sector; dates marketing; Breeding Livestock Company; and establishment of an entity for marketing fish and shrimp.