Defense Minister Prince Salman asserts state institutions no alternative for role played by families, parents

Princes commend Prince Salman Quran Memorization Contest

Compensations for areas harmed by Gulf War are up to $1.2 billion

Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports surge 25% in December 2011

On behalf of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense, the Minister of Social Affairs Dr. Youssef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen opened this week the 1st Social Forum of Saudi Family and Contemporary Challenges, organized by Social Awareness and Rehabilitation Association.

Addressing the Forum, Dr. Al-Othaimeen conveyed to the audience the best wishes of Prince Salman for the success of the Forum, and the achievement of its noble objectives, noting that the Government under the leadership of the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince has been keen on providing urgent and permanent assistance to Saudi families.

Meanwhile, Prince Salman, President of Board of Directors of Prince Fahad bin Salman Charity Association for Renal Failure Patients Care (Kellana), opened the Saudi International Conference of Nephrology & Transplantation, organized by the Saudi Society of Nephrology (SSN) in collaboration with Kellana at King Fahd Cultural Center.

Activities of this conference will continue until Wednesday.

Upon arrival at the venue of the ceremony, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense was received by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Petroleum Affairs, Chairman of Kellana and General Supervisor of the Conference; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz; Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, President of SSN and Deputy General Supervisor of the Conference; a number of nephrologists and officials.

Prince Salman, Honorary President of Hamad Al-Jasser Charitable Foundation, received Minister of State, Cabinet's Member and Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Khuwaiter and members of the Board, who came to greet him.

The Prince listened to a summary on the projects and achievements of the Foundation and its future activities, praising the Foundation and wishing it all success, progress and prosperity.

The meeting was attended by Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Special Advisor to Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz.

Prince Salman also received Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and his accompanying delegation, who came to greet him.

A number of princes have emphasized the importance of Local Competition of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Award for Holy Quran Memorization for Boys and Girls to be organized by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance in Riyadh from February 27 to March 4.

In press statements on this occasion, the princes said that the success of the competition over 13 years reflects the great interest and support provided for this competition by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Minister of Defense, who patronizes the competition, commending the great efforts exerted by Prince Salman in the service of the Holy Quran, its memorization, and propagation.

The princes prayed to Allah Almighty to crown Prince Salman's efforts with full success in the service of his religion and homeland.

The princes included Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Mohammed bin Saad bin Abdulaziz, Vice Governor of Riyadh Region; Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Mohammed bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Jazan Region; Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Kharj; Prince Abdulaziz bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Madinah Region; Prince Dr. Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs; Prince Dr. Faisal bin Mishaal bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, Vice Governor of Qassim Region; Prince Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, Minister of Education; and Prince Dr. Mishaal bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, Advisor at the Crown Prince's Court.

Cleaning operations of coastlines and desert areas polluted during the Gulf wars will be completed in 2014, President of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Prince Turki bin Nasser said in a press meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday.

“However, the project to track environment pollution left by the wars in the region will continue for next 15 years,” Prince Turki said, adding that the Kingdom has achieved the expertise to clean up and rehabilitate polluted areas.

The Kingdom has completed 50 percent of the cleaning project, the prince added.

“The Kingdom has signed nine new agreements to clean up war polluted areas in the country. Those areas include coasts and deserts in the Eastern Province and Hafr Al-Batin, joining the Saudi borders with Kuwait and Iraq," the prince said.

The prince added total compensation paid to victims of the wars crossed $1.2 billion, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The prince also opened a meeting of the consultants committee for cleaning and rehabilitating war affected countries. “The Kingdom has employed all scientific studies and technologies for cleaning operations,” the prince said in his address. The Kingdom hosts this year’s meeting. Five countries affected by the wars include Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and Iran as well as the Kingdom.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia's non-oil exports in December 2011 rose by 25 percent to SR15.55 billion compared to SR12.43 billion in December 2010, a report issued by the General Statistics Department said Sunday. During the same period the volume of exports increased 3 percent from 4,057,000 to 4,180,000 tons.

Plastic products valued at SR5.24 billion topped the list of exports from the Kingdom in December 2011 (accounting for 34 percent of the total exports), followed by petrochemicals (SR5.07 billion) and re-exports (SR2.16 billion), food products (SR1.04 billion) and ordinary minerals (SR661 million).

China was the top importer of Saudi products during the reporting month as the country imported goods worth SR1.89 billion (12 percent of the total), followed by the United Arab Emirates (SR1.62 billion), Singapore (SR1.51 billion), India (SR672 million) and Egypt (SR592 million).

Non-Arab and non-Islamic Asian countries received 32 percent of Saudi exports during the reporting period (valued at SR5.07 billion), followed by GCC countries (SR3.15 billion), Arab countries (SR2.75 billion), European countries (SR1.82 billion) and non-Arab Islamic countries (SR1.42 billion).

The report also pointed out the Kingdom’s imports during the month rose by 4 percent to SR36.6 billion compared to the same period in 2010, when the amount was SR35.09 billion.

Equipment, machinery and electric utensils valued at SR10.18 billion topped the list of Saudi imports, or 28 percent of total imports.

China maintained its position as the largest exporter to the Kingdom, with its exports valued at SR5.15 billion or 14 percent of the total, followed by the United States (SR5.03 billion), Germany (SR2.75 billion), Japan (SR2.52 billion) and South Korea (SR1.98 billion).