Tajik president commends Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ farsightedness, says terrorists are enemies of God and devout people

Prince Salman hails care offered by Kingdom’s government for King Abdulaziz Darah

Prince Saud al-Faisal calls for rationale, avoidance of bloodshed, achievement of reform

Saudi foreign minister says Iranians’ statements are contradictory

Dialogue launched in Bahrain as argument revolves around separation of state and religion, formation of political parties

Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon asserted his country's keenness to strengthen economic and trade relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi private sector in the light of political and fraternal relations between the two countries.

This came during a reception held at the presidential palace where President Rahmon received the delegation of Saudi businessmen who are currently on a visit to Tajikistan in the framework of the Saudi-Tajik joint Business Council which held its first session.

During the audience, the Tajik President also lauded the wise policies pursued by the Kingdom in all areas and its commitment to strengthen its cooperation with various Islamic countries, particularly Tajikistan.

He also expressed respect and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his keenness on strengthening bilateral ties with various countries and Muslim peoples, especially in Central Asia.

The Tajik president has affirmed the strength and depth of relations between his country and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, expressing his pride of the ties of brotherhood and friendship binding him with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, since their meeting in Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco, in 1994; hoping that the King will pay a visit to Tajikistan at the earliest opportunity.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), he said that Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan have identical views on confronting the forces of extremism and terrorism that disguise under the name of Islam and offend Islam and Muslims all over the world.

On the roles of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz in addressing the issues at international and regional arenas, the Tajik President described the King as a leader characterized by a statesmanship and foresight as well as a considerable stature at Arab, Islamic and international arenas.

He called for signing agreements between the two countries in a number of fields including the promotion and protection of mutual investments, avoidance of double taxation on income and capitals, trade and economic cooperation, and tourism; calling on Saudi companies and businessmen to invest in various projects in Tajikistan.

Saudi Ambassador to Tajikistan Dr. Bandar Mohammed Jamil met with the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan Farrukh Hamraliyev.

During the meeting, they discussed ways of strengthening relations between the two countries and the development of cooperation level in economic and trade fields.

They also discussed the visit paid recently by a delegation of the Saudi Business Council to the Republic of Tajikistan.

Jamil has called on Saudi businessmen to visit Tajikistan to discuss investment opportunities in economic and trade fields.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), he stressed the strength of relations between the two countries with the support of King Abdullah and Tajikistan's President Rahmon. He has emphasized the importance of strengthening diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan, pointing out that economic, trade and investment cooperation is one of the fastest ways to strengthen diplomatic relations, especially in light of the keenness of the leaderships of the two brotherly countries on the enhancement of relations in various fields.

The Saudi Ambassador noted that the Saudi Embassy which opened in Tajikistan last year, is the first Arab embassy to open in this country.

He said that Tajik authorities have approved the request of the Saudi embassy in Dushanbe for granting entry visas to Saudi businessmen and tourists at Tajikistan's airports.

On the other hand, the Chairman of State Committee for Radio and Television in the Republic of Tajikistan Assadullah Rakhmonov welcomed the promotion of cultural and information cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the Ministry of Culture and Information.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, he noted that he has met with the Saudi Ambassador and discussed with the ways for strengthening cultural and information cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi delegation which participated in Saudi-Tajik Business Council held in Tajikistan last week has signed framework agreements worth about $50 million.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency, Dr. Mansour bin Saleh Al-Khunaizan, the head of the Saudi business delegation, said that they met a number of Tajik manufacturers and businessmen.

During the meeting, they discussed issues pertaining to investment opportunities, exchanging of goods and activating trade between the two countries.

Meanwhile, the Saudi business delegation met President Rahmon of Tajikistan.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest in addition to ways of enhancing economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

Also, the Saudi business delegation met a number of Tajik officials to discuss aspects of cooperation in the banking, financial fields and exchanging of experiences and information as well as enhancing air cargo.

Meanwhile, Prince Salman Ibn Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Province, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives 'Darah' has commended the Foundation.

In a speech on the 40th anniversary of the Foundation's establishment, Prince Salman said, 'King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives has been established to be a scientific and cultural institution concerning the service of the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in loyalty to the founder King Abdulaziz, (May Allah bless his soul), and in recognition of his historic accomplishment in the unification of the Kingdom, and setting up a modern state that has become an oasis of stability, security and development.

In Jeddah, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and visiting British Foreign Secretary William Haig, held talks at the Foreign Ministry's Jeddah branch.

Following the meeting, Prince Saud Al-Faisal told a joint press conference with his guest that the talks dealt with bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom in addition to the crises witnessed by the region, their developments and the Gulf Cooperation Council's initiative to solve the Yemeni crisis.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal welcomed the launch of comprehensive national dialogue in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the formation of an independent fact-finding committee into the incidents which took place in Bahrain recently.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal pointed out that the Saudi British talks showed satisfaction over the restoration of security and stability to Bahrain, the welcome of the launch of comprehensive national dialogue among all people of Bahrain upon a call from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and the formation of an independent fact-finding committee into the incidents witnessed by the Kingdom of Bahrain recently.

He said the two sides also lauded the serious reforms and development process in Bahrain and expressed rejection to any foreign interference in the Bahraini affairs or any attempt to tamper the security of the Gulf countries or stir sedition into them.

As the Kingdom is following what is going on in the Arab region and noting its keenness to not interfere into internal affairs of other countries, there is no way but to feel deeply sorry and painful over the fall of a number of civilian victims, including women and children due to those crises. We call on all parties to keep prudent and wise while tackling the matter, evade more bloodshed, and resort to serious reforms that guarantee human rights.

The Kingdom is keen on the security and stability of the Arab world and maintenance of the unity and independence of its countries, he stated.

On the peace process in the Middle East, the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said 'we support the international community effort to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis on the bases of starting with border and security negotiations, to pave the way for dealing with other fundamentals, led by the holy Al-Quds situation, within not more than one year span of time so that negotiators could reach the establishment of an independent viable Palestinian state within a two-state solution'.

He noted that despite the Kingdom's confidence in the seriousness of those efforts and their objective to achieve peace in the Middle East, such efforts would fall short of reaching their goals unless seriousness and firmness was dealt to the Israeli policy of rejection and intransigence that continue to challenge any international sincere initiative or effort.

For his part, the British Foreign Secretary expressed happiness to make this visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, his first as foreign minister of his country. We are looking forward to the future of our relations with the Kingdom as it is our largest trade partner and that each of our countries is a victim of terrorism, he stated.

He explained that there are 20 joint ventures worth $70 billion between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and his country and that some 20,000 Britons are working in the Kingdom while 16,000 Saudi students are taking their lessons in Britain.

In response to a question on the contradiction of the world community positions towards the developments in some Arab countries, he said there is a big difference as interference in Libya through imposing a no-fly zone was done at a request from the Arab League. As for Syria, there is no such request. But we are going to proceed in the Security Council with the demand to provide protection of civilians, prevent the use of force against them and let them enjoy freedom of expression.

Asked about the conflicting Iranian statements towards the Kingdom, Prince Saud Al-Faisal said usually this happens in politics. But, I would like to state that there were a series of talks with Iran in the past, including a scheduled visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to the Kingdom to discuss the points of difference so that relations would return to normal.

Regrettably, they were not resolved and no meeting took place because of the conditions drawn by Iran. In fact, the new Iranian Foreign Minister made a telephone call to me while he was in Pakistan, expressing his wish to continue dialogue. I told him Iran has already received an invitation from us and that whenever they felt to do that, they are welcome. Then he offered a tripartite meeting be held in Kuwait. I enquired why Kuwait shoulders the Saudi-Iranian differences.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal added that Iran is a neighboring country and if it would play a leading role, it should preserve the interests of the countries of the region and not only its own interests.

During the talks, we also discussed the situation in Lebanon, he said adding that the Kingdom calls on all Lebanese factions to respond to the International Tribunal's decision with all the needed reason and quietness away from the language of convulsion and evade any escalation or confrontation with the international community.

He reiterated that the family of bin Laden who live in this country will continue to receive treatment as honorable citizens as astray boys are available within the world's best families.