Saudi Arabia Celebrates National Day

Jeddah and Riyadh– The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will celebrate the 87th anniversary of its National Day on Saturday amid increasing regional challenges.

On this day, late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman declared the unification of the country under the name of “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” on the 19th of the month of Jumada I of 1351 AH. The unification was achieved after 32 years of struggle during which late King Abdulaziz laid strong foundations for the Kingdom adhering to the teachings of his ancestors.

On this occasion, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, delivered a speech commending the Kingdom’s growth and prosperity under the great leadership of King Salman.

The Prince said that this great anniversary happens while the Kingdom witnesses a glorious era and a blessed renaissance with more security and stability under the great leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

He affirmed that the 87th anniversary of the Kingdom’s unification is an occasion to recall the achievements of the founder and builder of our country’s renaissance, late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman.

“We thank Allah Almighty for honoring this country for the service and care of the two holy mosques and their pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors, so it has exploited all its capabilities to achieve this great message. We also thank Allah Almighty for the blessing and giving of security, safety, tranquility and prosperity of our country whose success depends on adhering to the Holy Quran and the teachings of Sunnah of His Messenger as an approach in all matters and dealings,” the Crown Prince reiterated.

In his speech, the Crown Prince said: “We thank Him for the abundant resources, potential and qualified human resources of our country and its strategic position qualifying it to be among the world’s top developed countries, leading us to maintain our gains and continue to work for further progress and success.”

The Crown Prince stated that what the Kingdom is witnessing today is due to King Salman’s efforts to continue what has been done by the former kings of this country.

The Crown Prince lauded the role of King Salman and his outstanding deed in the service of his people, the homeland and the nation.

He asserted the Kingdom’s effective and influential status and role at regional and international levels, with its commitment to work for the achievement of international peace and security and its pursuit for the good of all humanity.

The Crown Prince also mentioned that as an active member of the Economic Group of Twenty (G20), which includes the world’s strongest economies, “we aspire the Kingdom becomes a pioneering model at all levels, depending on the role of male and female young citizens in this regard with the strive for the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which marks the beginning of a new phase of development and hard work for future advancement as well as the pursuit for everything in the interest of the country and continues moving closer to top-ranked developed countries, while adhering to the principles of our religion and our noble values.”

The Prince stated that under the leadership of the Custodian the country affirmed its right to uphold the truth and commitment to its principles to achieve justice as well as its quest for the achievement of regional security and world peace.

Crown Prince Mohammed commended the efforts of the protectors of the country and its heroic soldiers who risk their lives to save their religion and homeland, as well as the efforts of the security forces to maintain the security of the country.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became an influential leading person through the success he achieved and his outstanding presence on the political, social, and economic arenas in the Kingdom.

Due to the Prince’s efforts and leadership of King Salman, Saudi Arabia launched the initiative to restore legitimacy in Yemen through operations “Decisive Storm” and “Restoring Hope”.

The prince also announced Saudi Arabia’s adoption of the Islamic Military Alliance to Combat Terrorism headquartered in Riyadh. He also toured several countries around the world and discussed several issues on the Arab, Islamic, and international arenas.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the “godfather” of Saudi Vision 2030 set as a road-map for Saudi Arabia’s economic development.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif also delivered a speech during which he considered the National Day “an occasion to understand the true meaning of pride and respect for the efforts exerted by our ancestors to achieve development, growth and prosperity, which was the founder king’s wish.”

The Prince stated that stability is one of the best things in the Kingdom, the most important factor that helped the state grow, thrive and develop to become an internationally pioneering state.

“Since its establishment, the Kingdom has exerted all possible efforts to serve Saudis, expatriates, and pilgrims from all over the world, and preserve the sacred sites. It faced the most difficult and dangerous challenges that threatened the security of many states, such as terrorism that disrupted regional stability and security,” Prince Abdulaziz asserted.

“However, the Kingdom was able to thwart many terrorist plans and dismantle terrorist networks thanks to the government’s support of the Ministry of Interior and the security forces,” he concluded.

Crown Prince, Trump Stress Need for all Countries to Abide by Riyadh Summit Commitments

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, has received a telephone call from US President Donald Trump, Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

During the call, they reviewed bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and developments in the region and the world, SPA said.

According to the news agency, the Crown Prince and Trump stressed the need for all countries to abide by the commitments they made at the Riyadh Summit aimed at defeating terrorism, financing it and combating extremist ideology.

They also asserted the need to strengthen the security of the region and the danger of the Iranian regime, SPA said.

The Crown Prince and the US President stressed the depth of the strategic relations between the two countries and strengthening them to serve the two friendly peoples, the agency added.

Crown Prince Chairs Meeting of Political and Security Affairs Council

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Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Chairman of the Council for Political and Security Affairs, chaired in Jeddah on Tuesday evening a meeting for the council, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, the council heard a political and security briefing on a number of topics, in addition to a number of developments in regional and international events, SPA said Wednesday.

The council took the necessary recommendations, the agency added.

Saudi Crown Prince to al-Azhar Sheikh: We Count on Religious Institutions in Countering Extremism

Saudi Crown Prince to al-Azhar Sheikh: We Count on Religious Institutions in Countering Extremism

Mecca – Sheikh of al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb praised Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense for the efforts he is exerting on enhancing the Arabic and Islamic cooperation.

Prince Mohammed received a telephone call from Sheikh Tayeb in which he congratulated him on his new selection and appointment, wishing him all success in serving his religion, homeland, Arab and Islamic nations under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Tayeb expressed al-Azhar’s condemnation of the failed terrorist attack that targeted the Grand Holy Mosque in Makkah on Friday, stressing al-Azhar’s stand with the Kingdom in combating terrorism and confronting it until it is eradicated and uprooted.

For his part, the Crown Prince expressed Saudi Arabia’s appreciation to al-Azhar and its important role in clarifying the truths of Islam and the dissemination of religion, especially in this delicate stage being experienced by our Arab and Islamic nation.

The Crown Prince pointed out that the Islamic nation is counting greatly on the role of religious institutions in the coming stage, praising the efforts led by Sheikh al-Azhar in confronting the extremist ideology and terrorist groups.

The Crown Prince congratulated Sheikh of al-Azhar on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, praying to Allah Almighty for its returns to Arab and Islamic nations with welfare, prosperity and blessings.

In related news, Prince Mohammed continued to receive telephone calls from leaders and top officials congratulating him on his selection as Crown Prince, appointment as Deputy Premier, and continuing as Minister of Defense.

The Crown Prince expressed his appreciation and thanks for their noble feelings and wished their people prosperity.

Prince Mohammed received calls from Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Pakistani Minister of Defense Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Egyptian Minister of Defense and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Egypt Sedki Sobhy, Malaysian Minister of Defense Hishammuddin Hussein, and Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea.

King Salman on the Occasion of Fitr: We Pay Great Attention to Bolstering World’s Security

Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman

Jeddah – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz said that the world is suffering from terrorism, the plague of this era, adding that he pays great attention to bolstering security and stability in the world.

King Salman underlined Saudi efforts to serve pilgrims, the holy places, Islam and Muslims.

In a speech delivered by Minister of Culture and Information Awad bin Saleh al-Awad, the Custodian addressed citizens and Muslims everywhere on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

The speech highlighted joy and happiness of all after the completion of the month of Ramadan and the coming of Eid.

In keeping with the royal custom of communicating with the leaders of Islamic countries, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, sent cables of congratulations to leaders of Islamic countries on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr this year.

They prayed to the Almighty Allah to accept good deeds from all and return this precious occasion with the Islamic nation enjoying dignity, security, and stability.

Emirs, Ambassadors Take Pledge on Behalf of Crown Prince

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Jeddah- Saudi citizens, in the kingdom and abroad, continued to arrive at the emirates, provinces and embassies to pledge allegiance to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, abiding by directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Princes received on Wednesday those who came to pledge allegiance to the crown prince, wishing that the kingdom continues to enjoy its safety and welfare within the framework of King Salman leadership.

Riyadh Emir Faisal Bin Bandar, Madinah Emir Faisal Bin Salman, Qassim Emir Dr. Faisal Bin Mishal, Emir of Hail Andulaziz Bin Saad, Najran Emir Juluwi Bin Abdulaziz, Emir of Al-Jouf Fahd Bin Badr, Jazan Emir Muhammad Bin Nasser, Emir of Tabuk Fahd Bin Sultan, Emir of the Eastern Province Saud Bin Naif, Asir Emir Faisal Bin Khaled, Emir of Al-Baha Hossam Bin Saud and Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Governor of the Northern Border Region took the pledge on behalf of crown prince.

Saudi Arabia embassies abroad, governors and heads of centers also received citizens who were keen to attend and pledge loyalty.

Princes of regions received scholars, state-officials and citizens because of King Salman’s keenness on everyone’s comfort and based on his wish to facilitate the process so they don’t have to travel to Mecca.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Ruling System

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The ability of any political system to arrange governance when positions are changed is what determines its strength – this was embodied on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia when Prince Mohammed bin Salman replaced Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as a crown prince.

Bin Nayef congratulated Bin Salman, wishing him luck in his smoothly assigned task.

Observers see that the kingdom is changing rapidly – this calls on the governing administration to keep up with what’s expected from it. Change, however, must not be at the expense of stability. Pledging allegiance to Mohammed bin Salman as Crown Prince came within the framework of the political system and its traditions, i.e. the decision was made by the king, with the support of the royal family, and the pledge of allegiance by different sections of the society.

On Wednesday, the decision was announced and everything went normal. This is uncommon in the Middle East as change always passes through a period of difficulties. For 80 years, the Saudi political system has been stable and capable of making transitions under the leadership of the king who enjoys full loyalty.

We have seen transitions happen smoothly in Saudi Arabia as there have been five crown princes in seven years – whether in the case of death or assignments, transitions were carried out according to the same rules and royal traditions, different to what may happen in other regimes.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s age and experience in the modern government administration has made his assignment a new development – he provides the vitality, which Saudi Arabia needs in its modernizing projects launched under his direct supervision.

Since the 1970s, several researches and books have been written and have raised questions about Saudi Arabia’s ability to survive changes which time brings about, different generations and decrease of resources, not to mention the continuous challenge of how to balance continuity and modernization.

Those familiar with royal systems’ nature -especially the Saudi royal system – are aware that the most important characteristic is the kingdom’s ability to adapt. The king wants to bring youth to the fore so they are in harmony with the society.

Saudi Arabia has a young population – as much as 60 percent of them are below the age of 30. They expect the government to act upon their needs. As a result, modernizing projects mainly target the youth.

There are no many options for the government that has inherited a difficult legacy, in which development projects and managing of affairs are mainly based on oil revenues. For some time, oil revenues can be depended on but it is risky to continue relying on them and is a conspiracy on future generations.

The other option is to develop the state’s administrative capacity and reinterpret its tasks –This briefs the concept of modernization led by Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The new assignment also ends frequent questions about the state, the family, the position of the crown prince and the political future, cementing stability in this significant country in a disturbed region.

We cannot neglect former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef’s phase since he has developed Saudi security institutions and improved their work to susbsequently win the war on terror after the 2003 explosions.

Finally, the kingdom’s stability matters for the entire region’s stability and serves the interest of the region countries, including those that may disagree with Saudi policies. Chaos is contagious and it can spread just like stability.

King Salman, Abadi Discuss Bilateral Ties, Regional Developments

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Riyadh, Mecca- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman discussed with Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Haider al-Abadi at Al-Safa Palace in Makkah bilateral ties and regional developments.

Adviser in the Council of Ministers Ihsan al-Shammari said in a phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat that the visit of Abadi to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of his tour that includes Iran and Kuwait was successful.

Shammari affirmed that the visit determined new contours for Saudi-Iraqi ties and that it will have an impact on Arab-Western relations.

At King Abdulaziz International Airport, Abadi was received on Monday by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, Jeddah Governor Prince Mishaal bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Governor of Makkah Region Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, State Minister and national Cabinet Member Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed al-Aiban, and a number of officials.

The official delegation accompanying the Iraqi Prime Minister included Foreign Minister Dr. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Interior Minister Qassem Mohammad al-A’araji, Planning Minister Dr. Salman al-Jumaili, Acting Minister of Industry Engineer Mohammed al-Sudani, Minister of Agriculture Engineer Falah al-Zaidan, the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers Dr. Mahdi al-Alaq, and Chief of National Intelligence Service Mustafa al-Kazemi.

Crown Prince Conveys King’s Condolences to Family of Martyr Major Tareq Alaqi

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Mecca – Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, has conveyed condolences of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the father of Major Tareq bin Abdul Latif al-Alaqi who was martyred after a security patrol was hit by an explosive projectile while carrying out its missions to maintain order in Mousawarah, Qatif.

The Crown Prince expressed his condolences in a phone call on Wednesday to the father and the family of martyr Alaqi, confirming that the leadership is proud of its heroic sons who have devoted themselves to confront the terrorist elements and thwart their plans in order to safeguard the security and stability of the country.

He affirmed that all security sectors are ready to fight terrorism and eliminate terrorists, expressing the depth of cohesion between people and the wise Government at all times and places in order to protect the kingdom against any one who wants to tamper with its security.

Father of Major Tareq expressed gratitude and appreciation for King Salman and Crown Prince for offering condolences.

King Salman: Manchester Attack Contradicts Principles and Ethics of Islam

Saudi King Salman: Manchester Attack Contradicts Principles and Ethics of Islam

Riyadh – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz expressed Saudi Arabia’s strong denunciation of the terrorist act that took place in the British city of Manchester, noting that it contradicts the principles and ethics of Islamic religion.

In a telephone call to the British Prime Minister Theresa May, the monarch extended his sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, wishing the injured a quick recovery, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

During the conversation, King Salman confirmed the stance of the Kingdom with all its might with Britain in the war against terrorism.

For her part, PM May expressed her appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his noble feelings, confirming joint efforts of the two countries to confront terrorism.

Earlier, the Custodian sent a cable of condolences to the British Prime Minister following the terrorist bombing in Manchester.

According to SPA, King Salman strongly condemned in his cable the criminal act, wished a speedy recovery to the injured and stressed the importance of international efforts to confront and eradicate terrorism.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, also sent a cable of condolences to May following the terrorist bombing in Manchester.

In the cable, the Crown Prince strongly condemned this shameful criminal act and wished continued security and stability for Britain.

For his part, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, sent a cable of condolences to PM May following the terrorist bombing in Manchester.

The Deputy Crown Prince strongly condemned this cowardly criminal act, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.