Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, addressing Saudi people, stresses no alternative for dialogue

Crown Prince Naif directs Saudi regions to participate world day of civil defense celebrations

Janadriyah activities concluded with nine million visitors

Prince Khalid bin Sultan attends Green Flag drill in U.S.

Saudi defense ministry says Iranian naval vessels docking at Jeddah port is in line with global naval traditions

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received at his palace Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Obaid, member of the Presidential Committee of King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND), Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef and Dr. Rashid Al-Rajih Al-Shareef, two deputies of the Head of the Committee, Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar, Secretary General of KACND, and the male and female participants as well as representatives of the Ministry of Information and Culture in the 9th National Meeting for Intellectual Dialogue entitled 'Saudi Media: Reality and Means of Development ... Foundations, Roles, and Outlook'.

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

Addressing the audience, the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques said his aim is to serve his religion, nation and people, noting that what has recently happened in the Arab world was targeting the being of Islam and the Arab nation. He said the Saudi people have proved to be conscious and knowledgeable and dedicated to their religion and nation.

He confirmed that Saudi Arabia enjoys stability.

The monarch said he has many new ideas about developments in the Arab world but, to have them carried out, they need his people's support.

He stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has benefited so much from dialogue and solved so many chronic issues through dialogue which, he said, emanated from Saudi Arabia with a new presentation. Now the world started to follow the Saudi lead as regards how to practice dialogue.

He said the culture of dialogue has now become the tool to solve even family differences.

To put it in few words, the monarch said, everything in Saudi Arabia is now good, particularly the economic situation that pushed the country to a satisfactory situation internationally. However, I want all of you to help me to go the way to serve this religion and nation.

He also called on his people to think deeply about what is happening in this planet as concepts and beliefs of the past have changed in the world of today, advising the people of Saudi Arabia not to follow rumors on the internet which he said has turned to be a curse even on those who have invented it.

The audience was attended by Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence and a number of princes and senior officials.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques met with the female participants in the 9th National Meeting for Intellectual Dialogue where they listened to the King's directives. The monarch hailed the role of a Saudi woman in serving the society.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior issued a directive to all regions of the Kingdom to take part in commemorating the World Day of Civil Defense which falls, yearly, on March the 1st.

The Crown Prince urged all government as well as private bodies to take part in the functions organized by the General Directorate of Civil Defense and its departments, Kingdom wide, to celebrate the occasion, Lt. General Saad bin Abdullah Al-Tuwaijri, the Director General of the Civil Defense General Directorate stated.

On the other hand, Curtains fell over the 27th Janadriyah National Heritage and Culture Festival Friday night. The 14-day festival at Janadriyah village in the suburbs of Riyadh had pavilions for 13 administrative provinces in the Kingdom in addition to numerous stalls for private and public sector establishments.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah inaugurated the festival in which South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was the guest of honor on Feb. 8.

The public response to the festival was unprecedented. More than 9.5 million people visited the festival. The last four days were set apart for women visitors.

Expressing satisfaction at the success of the event, Minister of State and Member of the Council of Ministers Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, who is also chairman of the supreme committee of the festival, said the events reflected the cultural and artistic heritage of all regions in the Kingdom.

“While our country is rapidly developing in diverse spheres in the present time, it is highly significant to organize programs that will ensure preservation of our heritage from extinction so it can serve as a guiding lantern and become a matter of pride to future generations,” the prince said in a statement quoted by the Saudi Press Agency on Friday.

The prince said visitors could see how the Kingdom earned its present symbolic and spiritual status among the world Muslim population, apart from its economic development.

“For the history and culture of the Kingdom, space and time were condensed to 14 days at Janadriyah so that anyone who is interested in the affairs of the Kingdom could view them at close quarters,” the prince said.

The prince also promised that the next edition of the festival would have more glamorous events than this year.

The prince concluded the statement with thanks to all artists, media persons and officials for making the event a huge success.

Vast preparations were made for the coverage of the event. A 700-strong team of media personnel covered the festival’s cultural activities live on TV. Saudi Television prepared a special channel called Reality TV to cover this year’s festival.

King Abdullah ordered the cancellation of two major events, a musical opera and Ardha dance, as a gesture of Saudi Arabia’s solidarity with the people of Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Tunis.

In the U.S. state of Nevada, Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid a visit this week to U.S. Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada to attend the conclusion of the activities of Green Flag 2 exercise, in which the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and Royal Saudi Land Forces are participating alongside U.S. forces and a number of friendly armed forces.

Deputy Minister of Defense was accompanied by Lieutenant-General Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Aish, Commander of RSAF.

Upon arrival at Nellis Air Force Base, Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz was welcomed by Commander U.S. Air Force General G. Michael Hostage and a number of U.S. senior military officers.

During the visit, Deputy Minister of Defense was briefed on the conduct of operations of the Green 2 exercise and the role of RSAF to prove its existence in such exercises.

On the occasion, a reception ceremony was held in honor of Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Defense.

In Riyadh, an official source at the Ministry of Defense issued the following statement:

'Different media have recently reported that Iranian warships docked at Jeddah Islamic Port on their way to the Syrian port of Tartous. Because these reports have raised questions, the Ministry of Defense wishes to clarify the matter and put an end to speculations:

First: On 18/01/1433H., the Iranian officials at the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Riyadh submitted through official channels a request for allowing two ships (Kharg and Naghdi) and a helicopter affiliating to the Iranian Naval Forces to dock at Jeddah Islamic Port during the period of 1-7/02/2012.

The docking comes within a training tour for students of the Iranian Navy and within the framework of friendly visits. Such docking was approved by Saudi authorities.

Second: The Iranian officials at the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Riyadh submitted another request for allowing Bandar Abbas Ship, Alvand Ship, Alborz Ship and a helicopter to dock at Jeddah Islamic Port during the same period.

These ships replace the two ships that have already requested to dock at Jeddah Islamic Port (i.e., Kharg and Naghdi).

The purpose of such docking is part of a training tour for students of the Iranian Navy, rather than what has been stated by the Iranian Navy Commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari who said the purpose of this visit is to communicate with the countries of the region, render false any Iranian threat, and show his country's capabilities in international waters and foreign ports.

These approvals come within the framework of a long tradition of naval forces throughout the world, allowing passage and docking within international conventions.

The approval of the Ministry of Defense of such a procedure stems from the keenness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on sustaining strong ties of friendship with all brotherly and friendly countries as well as its commitment to the principle of good faith in order to uphold these relations based on friendship, respect, and mutual trust.'