Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives message from UAE President

U.S. newspaper hails Saudi Arabia’s prisoner rehabilitation program

Saudi Shoura Council Speaker addresses Asian parliamentary assembly conference

Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, received a message from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

During an audience held at Al-Azizeyah Palace, the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques was delivered the message by the UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom Al-Aasri Saeed Al-Dhahri.

The UAE Ambassador conveyed to the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques the greetings of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

In turn, the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques extended greetings and appreciation of the UAE leadership.

The audience was attended by Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of the Interior; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Asir Province; Prince Dr. Misha'al bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince; Prince Turki bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Culture and Information; Minister of State and Cabinet member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and a number of officials.

Crown Prince Sultan received at Al-Azizeyah Palace Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Asir Province and the accompanying delegation of Asir dignitaries and tribal leaders who came to greet the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on his safe arrival.

They also congratulated the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the successful back surgery the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has recently underwent.

The audience was attended by Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of the Interior; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Dr. Misha'al bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince; Prince Turki bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Culture and Information; Minister of State and Cabinet member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and a number of officials.

Meanwhile, Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, received at Al-Aziziyah Palace the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani and a number of Ambassadors-designate to a set of friendly countries.

Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques congratulated Ambassador-designate Ahmed Omar Aglla to the Republic of Ethiopia; Ambassador-designate Bandar Mohammed Jamil Ahmed Mahmoud to the Republic of Tajikistan and Ambassador-designate Dr. Gamal Abdulaziz Mohammed Saleh to Uganda on the Royal confidence bestowed on them, wishing them every success.

The audience was attended by Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of the Interior; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Asir Province; Prince Dr. Misha'al bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince; Prince Turki bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Culture and Information; Minister of State and Cabinet member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and a number of officials.

Prince Sultan also received at Al-Aziziyah Palace the eminence Imam and Khateeb of the Prophet's Mosque, Dr Ali bin Abdulrahman Al-Hudhaifi and a number of senior officials who came to greet the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

The audience was attended by Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of the Interior; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Dr. Misha'al bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince; Prince Turki bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Culture and Information; Minister of State and Cabinet member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban and a number of officials.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian authorities have arrested dozens of suspected al Qaeda terrorists in the past eight months, it was announced last week. All were planning attacks within the country, officials said.

Many of the 149 suspected operatives had ties to Yemen, according to General Mansour al-Turki, chief spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry. The arrests disrupted fundraising and recruiting efforts by 19 al-Qaeda terror cells that were developing plans for attacks on Saudi officials, journalists and government facilities.

Among the prisoners were 124 Saudis and 25 others of various nationalities, including Arabs, Africans and South Asians, al-Turki said. Earlier in the year, 113 al-Qaeda suspects were captured as well, including 52 suspects of Yemeni background.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the Saudis have developed a sophisticated program to combat terrorism since a series of lethal attacks struck the kingdom in 2003. The country’s intelligence operatives, paramilitary units and surveillance systems later feed their captives into jihadist rehabilitation and education programs. According to the report, this has led many Saudi terrorists to flee the country for the far more welcoming climate of Yemen, where it is easier to avoid detection.

This last is especially relevant, due to the rising concern over al-Qaeda’s increasingly active Yemeni affiliate, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The group was responsible for the attempted attack last month on two synagogues in Chicago, and a prior attempted attack December 25, 2009 by a Nigerian national thwarted at the last minute on a Detroit-bound flight on Northwest Airlines.

On the other hand, Chairman of the Shoura Council Dr. Abdullah Al Alsheikh stressed that permanent peace in the Middle East should be based on justice, equality, respect of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and restoration of all Arab rights.

In a speech at the opening of the fifth session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in Damascus, he expressed thanks and appreciation to the President of the Syrian People's Assembly Dr. Mahmoud al-Abrash for his kind invitation to hold this conference.

HE said that the efforts of the United Nations and its specialized agencies over the past decades were an important factor in maintaining international peace and security.

The Chairman of Shoura Council said as 'we commend the efforts of the United Nations in that direction we would like to remind it at the same time of its historic responsibility to be the basic reference in dealing with crises.

The Chairman of the Shoura Council said, 'Our world is currently living conditions that are extremely serious. In particular, our region is facing grave and serious conflicts and events. In this regard, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries that have undertaken the responsibility to reach peaceful settlements to these conflicts, whether these efforts were individual or jointly with brethren and friends.'

The Chairman of the Shoura Council said, 'During your previous meetings, your Council approved resolutions calling on Israel to stop its arbitrary practices against the unarmed Palestinian people...'

He stressed that lasting peace in the Middle East must be based on justice, equality and said peace would prevail only by respecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people's, recovery of all Arab rights and Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories and the occupied Syrian Golan and Lebanese Shebaa Farms.

In his speech at the session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, the Chairman of the Shoura Council said that poverty is one of the more risks and phenomena facing Asian societies and requires concerted efforts to combat it.

The Chairman explained that environmental factors are among the leading causes of poverty as well as the inability to meet the challenges of global competition in various fields.

He said that the Kingdom was one of the first countries that have contributed to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals because it attaches great importance to sustainable development issues and increasing the allocation of public expenditure on educational, social and health services.

The Shoura Council Chairman called on the Asian Parliamentary Assembly to work towards taking societies to a secure and wise globalization.

He called for dialogue among civilizations and peoples saying that dialogue with others should be in the context of an integrated strategy.

The Chairman of Shoura Council said Saudi Arabia was one of those who initiated the call for dialogue among civilizations by holding scientific seminars on human rights in Islam to explain human rights in Islam. He added that the kingdom has been sending notes containing a detailed explanation of Human Rights in Islam and its application in the Kingdom to competent international bodies.

He mentioned the conference called for by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on the dialogue among followers of religions which was held in Madrid in 2008 and which was followed by an initiative by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for dialogue among followers of religions which was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Meanwhile, Dr. Al-Sheikh has attended a dinner party held in his honor by the Saudi Ambassador to Syria Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Aifan.

The occasion was attended by Syrian People's Assembly Speaker, Dr. Mahmoud al-Abrash; a number of ministers; several Arab ambassadors accredited to Syria and the staff members of Saudi Embassy.