Jeddah, Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz and Afghan President Hamid Karzai discussed international efforts to achieve security and stability in Afghanistan during a meeting at the King Abdullah’s Jandariyah farm outside Riyadh on Wednesday. The two leaders also discussed the prospect of cooperation between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.
Before the start of the meeting, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz arranged a banquet in President Karzai’s honor. The King also honored Karzai by presenting him with a medallion reserved for senior figures and leaders of “sisterly and friendly” countries.
The banquet was attended by Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prince Bandar bin Fahd, Minister of Education Prince Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Prince Mansour bin Mit’eb bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Executive Affairs Prince Mit’eb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, Governor of al-Dareya Province Prince Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman, Assistant Chief of General Intelligence Prince Abdulaziz bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Mohammed, Adviser to the King Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King Prince Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King, Prince Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed, Prince Abdulaziz bin Sattam bin Abdulaziz, Prince Mansour bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Prince Bandar bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, and other ministers and senior civil and military officials.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz welcomed the Afghan President and his entourage to Saudi Arabia, wishing them a pleasant stay in his country. President Karzai expressed his thanks and appreciation to King Abdullah for the warm welcome that he received in Saudi Arabia. He also expressed his honor at being presented with the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz gold medallion.
King Abdullah personally greeted Afghan President Karzai upon his arrival at the King Khalid International airport in Riyadh yesterday, along with Riyadh Governor Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz and a number of other ministers and senior figures.
This meeting between the Saudi King and the Afghan President comes one week after the London Conference on Afghanistan during which international countries met to discuss Afghanistan’s problems and to seek ways to put an end to the war between the Taliban and Kabul. Saudi Arabia was mandated with holding a follow-up conference of Gulf States and other Afghan backers which is scheduled to take place in late February.
Informed sources at the Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC] denied to Asharq Al-Awsat that there was any difference in opinion between the Afghan leadership and the Secretariat of the OIC regarding Afghan issues.
This denial came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai cancelled his scheduled visit to the OIC headquarters in Jeddah yesterday. President Karzai had been scheduled to hold talks with OIC Secretary-General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
The source claimed that “the cancellation of the Afghan President’s visit came after a protocol revision in his itinerary” adding that “the Afghan Consul General requested the cancellation of this visit personally, and this was due to the absence of sufficient time for this visit to take place.”