Saudi royal court announces success of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ back surgery

King Abdullah gives instructions to host 1400 Muslims on hajj season, approves decisions by higher education council

Second Deputy Premier urges world during cabinet session to should its responsibility in the fight against terrorism

Saudi Arabia establishes airlift to send aid to famine-stricken Somalia

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud underwent a successful surgery to re-tighten the binding connector around the third vertebra, the Royal Court said a statement.

The surgery took place at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.

The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars congratulated King Abdullah, the Crown Prince, the Second Deputy Premier, the Saudi people, and the Islamic nation, on the successful surgery which the King has undergone.

The Council's Secretary General Sheikh Dr. Fahd bin Saad al-Majid said that the King has a distinguished position in the hearts of Muslims at home and abroad, which has been enhanced by his gigantic achievements for the progress and prosperity of the homeland, and great services to the Two Holy Mosques and pilgrims as well as Muslims all over the world.

King Abdullah, who is also the Premier and Chairman of the Council of Higher Education, has approved a number of decisions taken by the Council in its 66th session.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari, said that the Council has approved the establishment of a number of faculties in various disciplines in universities, restructuring of faculties, the establishment of a number of institutes, centers and deanships in universities, and renewal for another three-year term in addition to the assignment of Vice Presidents in a number of universities.

The Council also approved a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Islamic University in Madinah and the University of Technology of Malaysia, and a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University and the University of Illinois, Carbondale, USA.

On the other hand, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Yamamah Palace.

At the outset, the Second Deputy Premier reassured all of the good health of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques after his successful surgery, and that the king now, thanks be to Almighty Allah, enjoys healthy well-being. His Royal Highness and members of the Cabinet expressed their heart-felt wishes and prayers that Almighty Allah confer on the king godly blessings, health, long life, and shield him against all malevolence.

Then, the Second Deputy Premier briefed the Cabinet on the consultations and contacts that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques made during the last few days with a number of leaders of brotherly and friendly countries on the latest developments at regional and international arenas, including a telephone call the King received from President Barack Obama of the United States.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on the latest developments at Arab and international arenas and the Kingdom's and international community's stances towards them.

In this regard, the Cabinet hailed the statement issued by an extraordinary meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers concluded focusing on the current situation in Syria.

The statement stressed the Arab's stance of stopping immediately all acts of violence, fighting, ending all military aspects to help prevent more casualties and to preserve civil peace and the protection of civilians as well as the unity of the Syrian society fabric.

Dr. Khoja added that the Cabinet followed with immense appreciation the international reactions to the sinful and unspeakable attempt at the life of the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United States of America.

The Cabinet, he added, emphasized that as the Kingdom gratefully values and appreciates the efforts of the United States in exposing the assassination attempt and the condemnation expressed by brotherly and friendly countries along with international organizations against this contemptible scheme and those who stand behind it, Saudi Arabia renews its call to Arab and Islamic nations and the international community to shoulder their responsibilities towards such terrorist acts and attempts to threaten the stability of States and the international security and peace.

The Minister of Culture and Information said the Cabinet expressed the pride of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in signing the agreement of inaugurating King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Global Center for Dialogue in the Austrian Capital Vienna which aims to promote dialogue among followers of various religions and cultures; to enhance understanding, respect and cooperation among peoples; to augment justice, peace and reconciliation; to confront the justification of violence and conflicts under covers of religions; and to call for a responsible course that sanctifies religious and spiritual dimensions for individuals and communities.

The Cabinet thanked the government of Austria the country that will house the Center and thanked the Kingdom of Spain whose cooperation has helped to translate this noble vision into a reality, and thanked all those who have supported this idea.

The Cabinet sent its congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the International support his initiative has received and has come to fruition in the inauguration of this center, a crowning result of his honest efforts to disseminate dialogue among followers of various religions and cultures.

The Minister pointed out that the cabinet heard a report on the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud International Prize for Translation which was delivered to the winners of the fourth session in the Chinese capital Beijing, stressing that the wide ranging appreciation given to the prize by cultural and world elites reflects its importance in promoting the translation movement and enhancing opportunities for cultural dialogue and rapprochement among cultures sought by the Kingdom.

The cabinet said the prize handing this year took place in conjunction with the signing of the convention establishing King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Global Center for Dialogue in the Austrian capital Vienna and shortly before that the signing of an agreement establishing the 'United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism' which was called for by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

The cabinet briefly reviewed the overall intensive activities witnessed by the local scene during the last few days at various economic, social and cultural arenas, as well as the security achievements in the fight against drugs and their promotion, highlighting the holding of the Forum on Recent Trends in Alternative Sentences organized by the Ministry of Justice within the scientific framework the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi has adopted to develop the judiciary.

The Cabinet discussed the participation of the Kingdom in some international economic and political symposia, including the Saudi Financial Forum held in London. This forum is an opportunity for participants to be briefed on the strong Saudi economy within the conditions of international economy.

The Cabinet listened to a report read by Minister of Finance on the Kingdom's participation in the meetings of Finance Ministers of the Group of Twenty (G-20) in Paris to discuss the preparations for the G-20 Summit to be held in France next month.

Dr. Khoja then said the Cabinet continued discussion of its agenda and issued the following decisions:

The Cabinet approved a number of decisions regarding subsidies of agricultural crops including dates.

The Cabinet approved recommendations in minutes of the ministerial committee for administrative organization regarding certain schools at the Ministry of Education.

The Cabinet approved the final account of the General Commission for Tourism and Antiquities for the fiscal year (1430/1431H).

The Cabinet approved the appointment of governmental representatives in the board of directors of Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) as follows:

1- Reappointing Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al Saud and Eng. Mohammed bin Hamed Al-Madhi as two representatives of the government in the board of directors of SABIC for three years as of the decision's date.

2- Appointing Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Hamidi and Bandar bin Abdulaziz Al-Waili as two representatives of the government in the board of directors of SABIC for three years as of the decision's date.

3- Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al Saud is Chairman of the board of directors of SABIC and Eng. Mohammed bin Hamed Al-Madhi is Vice Chairman of the board of directors of SABIC for the period pointed out in the first item of the decision.

The cabinet approved the following appointments:

1- Abdullah bin Hasan bin Mohammad Mastoor Alzahrani is appointed to the position of information advisor (rank 15) at the General Intelligence Presidency.

2- Abdulrahman bin Rashid bin Saeed Alyamani is appointed to the position of director general of administrative and financial affairs (rank 14) at Prince Noora bint Abdulrahman University.

3- Hasan bin Bakar bin Mohammad Hariri is appointed to the position of director general of the affairs of teaching staff (rank 14) at King Abdulaziz University.

4- Hamad bin Ibrahim bin Mohammad Almubarak is appointed to the position of director general of administrative and financial affairs (rank 14) at the General Audit Bureau.

5- Othman bin Abdulrahman bin Othman Alyahya is appointed to the position of director general of the general department of monitoring of performance of establishments and companies (rank 14) at the General Audit Bureau.

Prince Naif, who is also the Supervisor of Saudi-sponsored National Campaign for the Relief of Somali People, issued a directive, approving an emergency project to provide potable water for Somalia, by digging 150 wells with its full accessories throughout eleven regions.

The project is intended to provide potable water for more than 3.6 million Somalis affected by famine and drought.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Executive Director of the National Campaign Mubarak bin Saeid Al-Bakr said this project comes as an extension of Saudi humanitarian endeavor to stand by the Somali people, in the context of a working plan in coordination with various humanitarian agencies, to secure provision of aides to Somali people, in order to mitigate their sufferings through meeting their basic needs.

The Speaker of Majlis Al-Shura Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, has stressed the keenness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, on assisting urgently needy and afflicted people around the world, emanating from its principles founded on the Islamic religion.

Addressing a meeting of the General Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Dr. Al Al-Sheikh said 'in implementation of the King's directives, the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has hastened to respond to the international appeal of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for assisting Somalia which has been affected by drought and famine.

He noted that the King ordered to provide an urgent donation of $60 million in July, in addition to the provision of SR330 million from people's donation and 400 tons of foodstuffs.

The Saudi National Campaign for the Relief of the Somali People has signed a cooperation agreement with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to implement the program of distribution of in-kind contributions to the victims of famine and drought in Somalia.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Saed Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, Advisor to the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, who is also Chairman of the National Relief Campaign for Somalia, and Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Suweilem, Advisor to Secretary General of OIC for Humanitarian Affairs.