Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques chairs Cabinet session, receives Palestinian president, phone call from Obama

GCC expresses concern over developments in Yemen

Prince Naif opens scientific forum on hajj research

Saudi Arabia’s air force in drill with Turkish forces

Chinese Premier hails Saudi Arabia’s regional, international roles

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Salam Palace.

At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the talks, consultations and contacts that took place during the past days with a number of leaders of brotherly and friendly countries and their envoys on the bilateral relations and the latest developments at international arenas in various fields, including the telephone call he received from President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and the audiences he held for Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hailemariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry Christine Lagarde of France.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on the latest developments in a number of Arab countries and their dangerous repercussions which resulted in causalities and injuries.

The Cabinet stressed the Kingdom's firm stances towards them and the importance of addressing them in a manner that ensures preservation of the lives of citizens and the integrity and stability of Arab countries.

Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet condemned the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by a group of Israeli extremists as well as setting fire to a mosque in the West Bank by Jewish extremists. The Cabinet reaffirmed the calls of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the international community to shoulder its responsibilities against the Israeli unilateral and aggressive practices in occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.

The Cabinet warned that the persistence of the Israeli authorities and continuation of its attacks will further instability and violence in the region.

Minister of Culture and Information said the Cabinet discussed a number of local issues, expressing appreciation for the endeavors exerted by the sons and daughters of the motherland in these days of academic tests, in order to excel.

The Minister wished them good luck and reiterated thanks and appreciation for the keenness shown by both male and female teachers and other education staff in the academic domain, to provide an appropriate atmosphere conducive to the students goals.

Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said, following the end of the Cabinet session, in a press statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the Cabinet proceeded to discussing other topics on its agenda and issued a number of decisions as follows: The Cabinet approved to grant Saudi Electricity Company a sum of SR 51,100,000,000 as an interest-free loan for 25 years to finance electricity-related projects as well as to finance an expected fiscal deficit in implementing urgently needed electrical projects, as their contracts should be concluded during the two years of 1432/1433H.

The Cabinet authorized President of Human Rights Commission - or his deputy - to discuss with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Office a draft memorandum of understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Office and to forward the signed copy to finalize the legal procedure.

The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:

1- Misfer bin Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Basher transferred from the post of Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs (Rank 14) to the post of Administrative Consultant (Rank 14) at the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.

2- Hamid bin Sebti bin Abdulrahman Al-Ghamdi appointed to the post of Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3- Saud bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Dayel appointed to the post of Director of the Department (Rank 14) at the General Intelligence Presidency.

4- Mohammed bin Ali bin Ahmed Al-Ghamdi appointed to the post of Director General of Al-Hadithah Customs (Rank 14) at the Saudi Customs.

King Abdullah also received President Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and President of the Palestinian National Authority (PLO).

During the audience, they discussed the developments of the Palestinian cause, the sufferings of the Palestinian people due to Israeli occupation in addition to the latest developments in the region.

The audience was attended by Prince Saud al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Meqrin bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Secretary General of the National Security Council; Prince Meteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State, Member of the Cabinet and Commander of the National Guard; and Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

On the Palestinian side, the meeting was also attended by Member of the PLO Executive Committee Dr. Saeb Erekat, Palestinian Ambassador to the Kingdom Jamal Al-Shobaki, Spokesman of the Palestinian Presidency Nabil Abu Rudeina and Director of General Intelligence Major General Majid Faraj.

The King also received a telephone call from American President Barack Obama.

During the conversation, they discussed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, issues of mutual interest in addition to reviewing latest world and regional developments.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministers of The Cooperation Council for The Arab States of The Gulf (GCC) have stressed their commitment and keenness on doing all matters that enhance security, stability and sovereignty of its member states, commending the important role played by the Peninsula Shield Forces in achieving security, stability, and defending and protecting the national and collective achievements and capabilities of GCC member states.

In a final statement issued at the end of the 119th session of the GCC Ministerial Council concluded in Jeddah on Tuesday evening, the Ministers commended the Ministerial Decree issued by Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, on the end of the national safety situation and his directives to executive and legislative authorities to start a comprehensive and unconditional dialogue for the national consensus effective from July 1st.

The Council appreciated the positive role played by the State of Qatar under the leadership of Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in support of the peace and development process in Darfur, in the Sudan.

The Council expressed its satisfaction over the GCC achievements in economic, military, security, social, legal, cultural, and information fields.

In the field of combating terrorism, the Council affirmed the positions of the GCC member States to renounce violence and extremism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever might be its motives and justifications.

The Council condemned Iran's continuing interventions and blatant provocations in the internal affairs of the GCC states, through its conspiracy against their national security and trying to sow discord and sectarian strife among their citizens, as a violation of their sovereignty, independence and the principles of good neighborliness and international norms and laws.

On the Iranian nuclear file, the Ministerial Council has followed up the latest developments of the Iranian nuclear file with great concern, reiterating its firm position on the importance of adhering to the principles of international legitimacy, resolving disputes by peaceful means, and making the Middle East including the Arab Gulf free of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons.

The Council affirmed the right of the countries in the region to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, within the framework of relevant international convention and in accordance with standards and procedures of the International Atomic Energy Agency and under its supervision and the application of these standards to all countries in the region, including Israel.

On the Palestinian cause and the peace process in the Middle East, the Council stressed that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace can only be achieved by Israel's complete withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories to the borders prior to June 4th, 1967 in Palestine, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, and the land still occupied in southern Lebanon, and by the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with occupied East Al-Quds as its capital.

In Makkah and on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Naif Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, who is also Chairman of Hajj Supreme Committee and Chairman of the Supervisory Committee of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj Research, inaugurated on Tuesday the '11th Scientific Forum for Hajj Research' organized by the Institute at Umm Al-Qura University, with the participation of 1000 experts and researchers in the field of Hajj and Umrah from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and abroad.

Upon arrival at the venue, Prince Naif was received by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Ibn Abdulaziz, the Governor of Makkah Province and Chairman of Central Hajj Committee; Minister of Culture and Information and Acting Minister of Higher Education Dr. Abdulaziz bin Muhaydin Khoja; President of Umm Al-Qura University Dr. Bakri bin Matouk Asas; and the Dean of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj Research Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Rashad Srouji.

Addressing the Forum, Prince Naif expressed his pleasure to inaugurate the Forum being held under the patronage of the King, praying to Allah Almighty to bless the King's efforts in the service of the Two Holy Mosques and for the glory of Islam and Muslims, and the happiness for the human kind.

He said that the Forum embodies the attention and keenness of the King and the Crown Prince to provide all human and material resources and mobilize them in the service of Hajj and Umrah according to scientific and research plans to improve the services and facilities to pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors of the Prophet's Mosque to perform their rituals easily and comfortably, which have been achieved at high standards of quality and performance in the previous years and to be achieved in this year's season at the same level or even better.

Prince Naif thanked the support of the King and the Crown Prince for the high standards of successes for the services and facilities provided to pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors of the Prophet's Mosque, noting that the State mobilizes all its resources and potentialities round the year to provide the best services for them to perform their rituals and return home safely.

The Prince, then, witnessed the signing of two agreements between the Institute and King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives and King Fahd Security College.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Hajj Dr. Fuad bin Abdulsalam Al-Farisi and a number of officials.

In the Turkish city of Konya, central Anatolia, the Royal Saudi Air Forces (RSAF) joined for the first time the 12-day Turkish Anatolian Eagle 2011 maneuvers started in Konya at 3rd Main Jet Base Command with other participation of other international air forces components including the United States, Spain and Jordan.

The RSAF's participation includes multi-role F-15 fighters with aerial and ground crews, Boeing KE-3A Airborne Refueling and Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The maneuvers are taking place in real military conditions and they aim to increase the military ability of the participants.

The Exercise and its activities centered on the training flights, which included training on counterinsurgency operations, Strategic operations, air support to surface forces and participation in tactical search and rescue operations and aerial refueling operations.

According to Turkish General Staff Website, Anadolu Eagle (AE) Trainings are conducted by Turkish Air Force Command in 3rd Main Jet Base Command/Konya, with national and international participations, with the advantage provided by high-tech, in generic environment and by basing on a scenario in which training quality is measured by computer systems.

The objective of the training is to test the knowledge and skills of all participants and to detect and eliminate the faults and deficiencies, and thus, to increase training levels.

In Beijing, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of the People's Republic of China received Speaker of Majlis Al-Shoura (Consultative Council) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh who is currently visiting China.

At the outset of the meeting, Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh conveyed the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince, and the Second Deputy Premier to the Chinese President, the Premier of the State Council of the China and the Chinese people.

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

For his part, Wen Jiabao hailed the political stability and the comprehensive development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, lauding the monarch's strenuous endeavor to enhance security and stability in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States and Arab countries.

He also lauded the sizable position of the Kingdom at the political and economic levels as a result of its prudent policies and firm stances towards various international issues.