Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques awarded honorary doctorate from Arab Gulf University

King Abdullah, President Abbas discuss peace process developments

Abbas: King Abdullah’s positions regarding Palestinian cause are historic and scrupulous

Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar holds in high esteem Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ efforts in defense of Islam

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was awarded Honorary Doctorate in the field of Medical Science and Education by the Bahrain-based Arab Gulf University (AGU).

The event took place during an audience held by the monarch for the university's Council of Trustees delegation, led by Dr. Ali Abdul-Khaleq Al-Qarni, Director of the Arab Educational Bureau and member of the council; Dr. Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Bandari, President of the University's Council of Trustees; and Dr. Khalid bin Abdulrahman Al-Ohali, President of AGU.

Addressing the gathering, Al-Ohali announced that the University's senate has nominated the monarch to win the honorary degree, a proposal endorsed by its Council of Trustees, in recognition of his domestic, regional and international achievements in the educational, cultural, scientific, economic and political fields.

He cited King Abdullah's winning the titles of the Islamic world's most popular leader, one of the world's top ten influential leaders and Champion of the world's campaign for combating hunger 2008.

In support for the Palestinian issue, the Monarch has proposed the Arab-adopted Peace Initiative in Beirut 2002, the establishment of Al-Quds Uprising Fund; and Al-Aqsa Mosque Fund, Al-Ohali said.

At the international arena, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques made several initiatives, including the dialogue among followers of different religions, civilizations and cultures, the establishment of an international center for combating terrorism and the set up of a secretariat general for the International Energy Forum.

At the GCC level, Al-Ohali highlighted the King's support for the concerted effort for more rapprochement among the group, the latest of which were the set up of the GCC Monetary Union, the Power Grid and Railway network.

On the domestic level, Al-Ohali cited the issuance of Allegiance- Pledge system, Judiciary system, Court of Grievance system and Human Rights Commission.

Economically, the monarch has made considerable reforms, most notably the stock market reforms, the set up of King Abdullah Financial Center, a number of economic cities in a number of cities in the Kingdom, support for investment institutions which led the Kingdom to jump to the world's 13th in the field of best business environment and competitiveness according to World Bank estimates, Al-Ohali said.

In the social field, the monarch inaugurated the Popular Housing project, doubled the Real Estate capital, pardoned Real estate fund borrowers, increased salaries, established King Abdulaziz Public Library and initiated the 25-year old Janadriyah Festival for Heritage and Culture, Al-Ohali said.

He gave an account on the King's achievements in the field of education, citing the quantitative and qualitative renaissance in the field of higher education with state-run 24 universities, nine private universities, several technological and health colleges and institutes and girls colleges accommodating more than 60 percent of the Kingdom's students, topped by the recently-established Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University for Girls.

Al-Ohali made special emphasis on the establishment of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST).

Then it was announced that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has donated SR 1 billion to be allocated for the establishment of what the university called 'King Abdullah Medical City' at the AGU.

The audience was attended by Prince Abdul-Ilah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; 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; and Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari, Minister of Higher Education.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah received in his office at the Royal Court of Al-Yamamah Palace President Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority.

During the meeting, they discussed developments in the peace process and efforts exerted to achieve just and comprehensive peace guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on their national soil.

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

Abbas described the positions of King Abdullah on the Palestinian issue as 'historic and principled.'

'Moreover, the King's stances on this issue remain the major fundamentals of the foreign policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,' he said in a statement to Okaz Newspaper.

'The King has been supporting the Palestinian cause in its various stages at regional, Arab and international arenas,' President Abbas said.

'Our visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comes within the framework of a series of important meetings with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to get enlightened by his wise and good visionary advice, to discuss developments at the Palestinian arena, to enhance relations, and to activate political dialogue for supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and achieving their legitimate aspirations,' he noted.

King Abdullah also received at Al-Yamamah Palace the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Senior Scholars' Commission and Scientific Research and Ifta Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh and a number of Ulema and sheikhs.

The king also received the President of the Egyptian Court of Cassation and Chief of Supreme Judicial Council Adviser Adel Abdulhamid Abdullah.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques received family members of Al-Baaj who came to thank the King for offering condolences to them on the death of Sheikh Sultan bin Jamal Al-Baaj.

The king also received family members of Al Khoja who came to thank the King for offering condolences to them on the death of Eba' Abdulmaqsud Khoja.

King Abdullah also received family members of Mutawea' who came to thank the King for offering condolences to them on the death of Hamed Mutawea'.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud prayed to Allah Almighty to bless the souls of the deceased.

The audiences were attended by a number of princes.

King Abdullah also received former US vice president Dick Cheney and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues of common interest.

The meeting was attended by of number of princes and senior officials.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also received a message from Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The message was handed over to the Speaker of Majlis Al-Shura Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh during a meeting he held with Member of House of Representatives and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshikatsu Nakayama and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest in addition to ways of enhancing relations between the two countries in all fields.

The meeting was attended by a number of officials.

Meanwhile, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, received at his office at the Ministry of Interior Dr. Hashim bin Abdullah Yamani, President of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE); Dr. Waleed bin Hussein Abul-Faraj, Deputy President of KACARE and Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Suleiman, Deputy President of KACARE for Renewable Energy Affairs.

During the meeting, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz congratulated them on the royal confidence bestowed on them to lead this important facility, wishing them every success.

Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Province, received Singapore's Foreign Minister George Yeo and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, they reviewed issues of mutual interest.

Prince Salman also received Walid Jumblatt, the Leader of Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and Member of Lebanese House of Representatives.

During the meeting, they reviewed issues of common interest between the two countries.

The meeting was attended by Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Special Advisor to Prince Salman; Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transport Ghazi Al-Aridhi, and Timor Walid Jumblatt.

Prince Salman will patronize the final ceremony of local competition on a reward named after him for Quran memorization, for both boys and girls.

On the other hand, Prince Salman is set also to inaugurate, within the ceremony's activities, the official site of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da'wah and Guidance and other related and affiliated sites.

The Secretary General of Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulmohsen Al-Turki has commended the Saudi leadership's attention for the Holy Quran, its memorization as well as its spread all over the world.

On the occasion of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Contest for Memorization of the Holy Quran for Boys and Girls, Dr. Al-Turki said, 'The interest of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Province, in the Holy Quran is based on the foundations of this blessed country namely the Holy Quran and Prophet's Sunnah and deriving its constitution and legislations from them.

Under the patronage of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Province, the local contest for the Prize of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz for memorization of the Holy Quran for boys and girls had been organized by the ministry of Islamic affairs, endowments, call and guidance.

As many as 96 competitors, including 39 female competitors, will participate in the contest which will be organized at Riyadh Palace Hotel.

Minister of Islamic affairs, endowments, call and guidance Sheikh Saleh Al Al-Sheikh highlighted the great attention given by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz to the Holy Quran.

He urged the parents to encourage their sons and daughters to learn the Holy Quran.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar Dr. Ahmed al-Tayyeb praised the efforts exerted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue to rectify misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in the West.

Tayyeb, during a meeting with MWL Secretary General Dr. Turki at the al-Azhar headquarters, underscored the importance of principles contained in the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ initiative for interfaith and intercultural dialogue with the objective of backing peace and peaceful coexistence in any human society.