Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques heads for U.S. for medical check-up

King Abdullah deputizes Crown Prince to run kingdom’s affairs during his absence

King addresses pilgrims congratulating them over the Eid

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques says Islamic unity is manifested in the great scene of hajj

World leaders inquire after King Abdullah’s health condition

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived in New York for the United States of America to undergo some medical checkups.

At Riyadh Air Base, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques was seen off by Prince Bandar bin Abdulaziz; Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Galloway; Prince Fahad bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz; Prince Fahd bin Mishari bin Galloway; Prince Miteb bin Abdulaziz; Prince Badr bin Abdulaziz; Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz; Prince Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Province; Prince Bandar bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz; Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz; Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Makkah Province; Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Riyadh Province; Prince Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Interior; Prince Faisal bin Saud Al-Kabeer; Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Saad; Prince Khalid bin Fahd bin Khalid; Prince Mohammed bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to Minister of Interior; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, President of General Intelligence; a number of princes, sheikhs, ministers and civil and military officials; and a group of citizens.

Before leaving his palace in Riyadh, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received the Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of Scholarly Research and Ifta Department Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh, who wished the King a successful treatment journey, praying to Allah Almighty to bestow good health on the King.

The official delegation accompanying the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques include Prince Khalid bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, 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; Prince Mansour bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; Prince Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah; Sheikh Misha'al Al-Abdullah Al-Rashid; Chief of Royal Court Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri; Chief of Royal Protocol Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Tobaishi; President of King's Special Affairs Ibrahim bin Abdulrahman Al-Tasan; Commander of Royal Guard Gen. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Owhali; Saudi Ambassador to the United States of America Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir; and Executive Director of National Guard Health Affairs and General Supervisor of Royal Clinics Dr. Bandar bin Abdulmohsen Al-Qanawy.

King Abdullah issued a royal decree deputizing Crown Prince Sultan Ibn Abdulaziz, to administer the State's affairs and to take care of people's interests during his absence.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has addressed the Pilgrims of the year 1431 H. Following is the text of the address:

'Praise is due to Allah Almighty Who in his holy book of Quran said 'And proclaim the Pilgrimage Among men: they will come To Thee on foot and (mounted) On every camel, lean (on account of Journey) through deep and distant mountain highways;), and prayers and peace be upon the most honored of all Prophets, Mohammed who said 'A complete and accepted Hajj has no reward for it but (Jannah) paradise'.

Brothers and Sisters, Pilgrims of the sacred House of Allah

Brothers and Sisters in our Islamic nation everywhere:

Alsalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakatu (May peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be upon you all)

From the sacred places in Mina I congratulate all Muslims all over the world on the blessed Eid Al-Adha (Greater Bairam), wishing the pilgrims of the sanctified House of Allah an accepted Hajj, awarded efforts, and forgiven sins; and I thank Allah Almighty for the blessings He bestowed on them in achieving their rituals in a spiritual and faith-endowed atmosphere, showing nothing but obedience to the Merciful Allah and shunning all mundane joys. I appeal to Allah Almighty to accept from all their good deeds, to set aright intentions and affairs, to purify the souls and help achieve aspirations.

May I also pray, on this occasion, to Allah Almighty to make this Hajj gathering a good omen every year an opportunity for all Muslims to renew their fraternal ties and tighten the bonds of confidence, amity, love, and compassion for what brings strength and helps achieve their interests in life and the hereafter.

Every Hajj season, I view with great pleasure these holy places where pilgrims meet having hailed from different cultures, habits, and customs from all corners of the word, united in their faith and unified by the religion of Islam.

Brothers and Sisters:

All divine religions unanimously agree on grand principles and share great values that as a whole constitute the concept of humanity which distinguish mankind from other creatures.

This grand Islamic congregation in the sacred places assigned by Allah Almighty, and this sight which reflects true belief in Allah are nothing but one of the manifestations Allah's will in uniting the nation in recognition of its Creator’s uniqueness, and an embodiment of the idea of the concept of equality and justice under the true Sharia which determined for mankind the pillars of a secure and happy life.

Allah Almighty, Power and Majesty are His, has ordained that this annual duty become an opportunity for the meeting of the faithful brotherhood, the followers of the one religion, where the unity of time, place, and objective become a reality; and where the great concepts will be rooted in the consciousness of the members of this nation who will secure this the ritual of Hajj against all other intentions that derail its aims and objectives. For the Holy Quran says: 'For Hajj Are the months well known. If anyone undertakes That duty therein, Let there be no obscenity, Nor wickedness. Nor wrangling In the Hajj. And whatever good Ye do, (be sure) Allah Knoweth it. And take a provision (With you) for the journey, But the best of provisions Is right conduct. So fear Me, O ye that are wise'.

In this great scene, within the unity of time, place and objective, Islamic unity becomes a full congruent whole, in appearance and in essence.

Brothers and Sisters:

Since Allah Almighty has graced the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the honor of serving the Two Holy Mosques, this country has recognized the great burden of this trust, the momentum of responsibility, and the importance of carrying it through in accordance with what Almighty Allah ordain. Our hopes in this are that we fulfill the ordinance, seeking Allah's reward in serving pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors of the Two Holy Mosques. It is Allah's flood of bounties that have eased our task in facilitating all means for pilgrims to perform their Hajj rituals in comfort and calm, and to present them with all the care and services. With God's help and guidance, we are committed to this task with all we have of capabilities and potentials that Almighty bestow on us.

Consequently, to provide the Pilgrims of the sacred House of Allah with the needed atmosphere of serenity and calmness, we will allow no one to disturb this holy ritual or the safety of Pilgrims. Their safety is a responsibility that tolerates no laxity or leniency; we will deal with swiftly and firmly. We have, praise be to Allah, readied all the necessary financial and human resources for the service and security of the guest of Almighty Allah. With Allah's grace, they will return home safe, have gained a blessed Hajj and having cleansed their sins.

Brothers and Sisters:

On a previous Hajj occasion, I spoke to you about the importance of dialogue among followers of religions, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has called for the idea of dialogue that was well received and promoted by the entire international community.

The goal of your brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the glory of Islam and the service of humanity. We are optimistic of the success of such ideas that call for the rejection of violence and terrorism which deeply burn our contemporary world.

Today, we are in dire need for our nation to have its self-dialogue to reject sedition, ignorance and extremism which constitute obstacles threatening the aspirations of Muslims. Moreover, terrorism which threatens the world and is attributed to all Muslims, is instigated by the acts of extremists who trespassed the merciful tolerance of Islam. However, in these deeds they only represent themselves, even if they wear the robe of Islam, but Islam is innocent from their wrong goings.

Speaking from this holy place, I call upon my brothers the leaders and peoples of Arab and Islamic countries that all adhere to the faith of Allah Almighty, reject the causes of difference and prejudice so that we provide no chances for the nation's lurking enemies.

Brothers and Sisters:

On this great humane occasion, I call on all of you and on whomever my words may reach, regardless who he is, to remember what all religions, faiths, and cultures have something do share; and to emphasize what is common among all. In this way we will outrun our differences, shorten distances among us, and bring about a world of peace, understanding, and prospects of progress and prosperity.

In the end, I pray to Allah Almighty to accept your Hajj, bless your pursuits, return you home to your families safely and winners having earned the rewards of an accepted Hajj and forgiven sins. I also appeal to Allah Almighty that the Islamic nation be in its better conditions and wellbeing and happy returns of this occasion.

Wa Al-Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatu Allahi Wabarakatu (Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah Almighty be upon you all).'

King Abdullah received a telephone call from President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, during which he was reassured about the King's health and he wished the King good health.

During the call, they reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The King expressed his thanks to and appreciation of the Egyptian President for his fraternal feelings.

Kuwaiti Council of Ministers expressed in its weekly session its satisfaction over the improvement of the health condition of King Abdullah following a recent indisposition.

In a press statement following the session, Kuwaiti Minister of State for the Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Abdulaziz Al-Roudhan said that the Council of Ministers prayed to Allah Almighty for bestowing complete recovery and good health upon the King to continue his services for his homeland, Arab and Islamic nations.

The Kuwaiti Council of Ministers commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the distinguished Hajj this year and high standards of services and facilities provided for pilgrims.

The Council also expressed its thanks to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for providing facilities to Kuwait Airways Corporation for operating urgent additional flights to transfer Kuwaiti pilgrims from King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah to Kuwait International Airport after performing Hajj rituals.

Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabee’a reassured the Saudi people on the good health of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, disclosing that the monarch will continue medical treatment in the United States of America.

This came in response to a question by a reporter of the Saudi Television on the wish of the Saudi people to get assured about the health of the King.

'The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques enjoys good health, his situation is stable and as mentioned by the Royal Court statement the other day, he was complaining from herniated disc and a blood accumulation that led to pressuring some nerves in the lower part of the back which caused some pain.

His team advised him to leave for the United States to visit a medical center specialized in the spinal column to continue his medical tests and proceed with the prescribed treatment.

However, I reassure you that he is in a stable situation and enjoys a good health. God will, he will come back with complete health to continue leading this great country', the Minister said.