Receiving guests of al-Janadriyah festival, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques says what happened at UN Security Council shook world’s trust in this establishment

Saudi Arabia, South Korea agree on military cooperation

Saudi officials say Janadriyah festival is heritage epic

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received at his palace in Riyadh the National Guard guests, including scholars, writers, thinkers and media representatives from inside and outside the Kingdom who came to attend the 27th National Festival for Heritage and Culture, currently ongoing in Al-Janadriyah.

At the outset of the audience, verses of the Holy Quran were recited.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques decorated Ibrahim Khafaje with King Abdulaziz Medal (1st class) on the occasion of choosing him as a Saudi Cultural Character for this year.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques delivered the following speech on this occasion:

Dear Brothers,

I welcome you with the greetings of Islam in your country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the homeland of goodness. Good is every human being who cherishes his faith, homeland, Arab and Muslim nations. All of you deserve gratitude and praise for you have struggled in serving your religion and homelands. Your children, Allah willing, will also travel the road you have traveled.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia opens its arms to salute you, and opens its arms for everybody who serves religion, homeland, and dignity.

Dear Brothers,

We are passing startling days. Unfortunately, what happened in the United Nations, in my opinion, is an unbecoming precedence. We and you have held high the United Nations: it unites, not divides, and deals impartially. Nothing but goodwill has been expected of it; even now we say it may, by the grace of Allah. However, the event that took place foretells nothing good. The world’s reliance on the United Nations has no doubt shaken.

States, be what they may, can never ever rule the world. Reason rules the world; justice rules the world; ethics rules the world; redressing aggressors. These can rule the world. The world is not ruled by those who commit all other violent deeds.

Yet my brothers,

I pray to Allah that you are of the forbearing people, and we will forbear and be patient till Allah dispose of a way out. Allah Almighty may delay but never dismiss.

Please, give my greetings to my brothers in every country who have not come.

The audience was attended by Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Meqrin bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of the State, Member of the Cabinet and Commander of the National Guard; Prince Sultan bin Salam bin Abdulaziz, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and a number of princes and officials.

Then, the guests and the attendees had a luncheon with the monarch.

Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State, Cabinet's Member, and Commander of the National Guard, received a number of officials of the National Guard and a group of citizens, who came to greet him.

The audience commended the success achieved by the 27th Janadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture, stressing that this success has been accomplished, thanks to the support and patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the efforts being exerted by the National Guard.

The Prince commended the Festival's success, noting that the National Guard has the honor to serve this nation, its citizens and heritage.

The meeting was attended by Assistant Deputy Commander of National Guard Abdulmohsen bin Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri, and a number of officials of National Guard.

The 27th Janadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture attracted more than 550,000 visitors on Saturday.

The Commander of Janadriyah Unit and Camp, Major-General Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil said thanks to good planning and preparations that no incidence has been reported since the start of the Festival on Wednesday.

A number of thinkers and writers from the guests of 27th Janadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture have commended the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his human gesture of canceling an operetta at the Festival this year, in solidarity with brothers in Arab countries which have witnessed painful events.

In press statements to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), they stressed that the King has a prominent and influential position in Arab and Muslim worlds.

They included Member of Arab Writers Union and President of Civilizations Group Forum of Jordan Naif Al-Nawaiyseh; Dr Hashem Al-Jazz, Professor and Writer in Sudanese Newspaper Public Opinion; and Dr. Papa Kar, Professor at Arabic Language Department of Senegalese University Cheikh Anta Diop.

South Korea and Saudi Arabia agreed to significantly bolster their defense cooperation to elevate relations in non-economic sectors to match those of their prospering business ties, an official said Wednesday.

President Lee Myung-bak reached the agreement in talks with Saudi Defense Minister Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and invited the minister to visit South Korea at an early date, senior presidential press secretary Choe Geum-nak said.

Lee has been on an official visit to Riyadh since Tuesday.

Officials of both countries agreed to conclude a defense cooperation pact at an early date, possibly in the first half of the year, and establish a military attaché at the Saudi Embassy in Seoul, who will be the country's first in the Far East, Choe said.

"I hope South Korea and Saudi Arabia will strengthen their cooperation in various areas on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of relations," Lee was quoted as saying during the meeting. "I anticipate closer cooperation in the defense area too."

Salman was quoted as saying the countries will work together to move defense cooperation forward.

A defense cooperation pact could be signed if and when the Saudi minister visits Seoul, Choe said. If Salman is unable to pay a visit to Seoul, South Korea's Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin will visit Riyadh for talks, the official said.

"The focus of this visit is to lift cooperation in non-economic areas to the level of the economic sector," the press secretary said. "What is important is that the two sides agreed to elevate defense cooperation as well to match such a level."

Choe declined to offer specifics on cooperation in the defense industry but sources said the two sides have been in talks on weapons projects, such as exporting ammunition and howitzers to the Middle Eastern nation.

The meeting with the defense minister, who is a half-brother of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, came a day after Lee won commitment from Saudi's oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, to provide Seoul with as much crude as needed.

The commitment came as Seoul prepares to cut back on imports from Iran in line with U.S. sanctions. Such a commitment from one of the world's major oil producers is expected to alleviate concerns in South Korea that a drastic cut in oil imports from Iran, which is accused of seeking illicit nuclear programs, could harm the slowing economy.

Later Wednesday, Lee and King Abdullah were to attend the Janadriyah national festival, the country's largest annual cultural event. South Korea was invited as the "guest of honor" to this year's event, which began Wednesday.

Officials said the invitation shows how much importance Riyadh attaches to ties with Seoul.

On the sidelines of Lee's visit, South Korean Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Minister Kwon Do-youp also held talks with his Saudi counterpart, Transportation Minister Jubarah bin Eid Al-Suraiseri, about a pilot project to build 10,000 homes in the country.

The pilot project is part of a 500,000-home construction project.

"The Saudi government is drawing up various projects for the welfare of its people," an official said. "One of them is this 500,000-home construction project."