APRIL 24, 2012
King Abdullah receives UNESCO Gold Medal
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz received the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Director General Irina Bokova in Riyadh on April 23. Bokova awarded King
Abdullah with the UNESCO Gold Medal, the organization’s most prestigious
award, in recognition of his efforts in enhancing the culture of dialogue and
peace. In particular, she noted his sponsorship of several international
conferences, as well as the establishment of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
International Program for Enhancing the Culture of Dialogue and Peace. She also
expressed appreciation for the Saudi monarch’s support of UNESCO’s activities.
Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for abduction of Saudi deputy consul
The Ministry of Interior released a statement on April 17 about the case of
Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Khalidi, the Saudi deputy consul in Aden, Yemen, who
was kidnapped by armed assailants in front of his residence on March 28.
According to the statement, the Saudi Embassy in Yemen received a phone call
from Mishaal Mohammed Rasheed Al-Shadoukhi, whose name appears on a list of
85 individuals wanted by Saudi authorities. During a conversation with the Saudi
ambassador, Al-Shadoukhi claimed to be conveying a message from Al-Qaeda in
Yemen. In exchange for the release of Al-Khalidi, Al-Shadoukhi demanded the
release of a large number of prisoners, along with a ransom. Al-Shadoukhi claimed
that the Saudi prisoner is in good health, but warned that Al-Khalidi is in a
precarious situation. He said, if Al-Qaeda’s demands are not met, “Today, a consul
is kidnapped. Tomorrow, an embassy will be bombed and a prince will e killed.”
Demanding the immediate release of the hostage, the spokesman noted that
Saudi Arabia is cooperating with Yemen to achieve this end.
SAUDI ARABIA-U.S. RELATIONS
U.S. delegation visits Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce
Abdullah Al-Majdoo’e, a member of the board of directors of the Eastern Province
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, received a U.S. commercial delegation in
Dammam on April 17. The delegation was led by Assistant U.S. Secretary for
Manufacturing and Services Nichole Lamb-Hale, from the Commerce Department,
and included representatives from 13 companies. During the meeting, U.S.
usinesses were encouraged to invest in green energy sources in the Kingdom,
especially solar energy.
Saudi university signs cooperation agreements with U.S. institutions
University of Taibah and Purdue University signed an academic cooperation
agreement, involving joint research, student exchanges, and the holding of joint
training courses on computer sciences and engineering. The agreement was
signed during the 3 rd International Higher Education Exhibition and Conference,
which concluded in Riyadh on April 20. Also during the Conference, the Faculty of
Medicine of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University signed a contract with
the George Washington University to conduct research on breast cancer, heart
diseases, obesity, depression and addiction for one year, as well as a contract
with the University of Pennsylvania to carry out research on cancer diseases,
genetics, and immunology for one year.
Campaign for the Relief of Palestinian People provides medical supplies
In implementation of the directives of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, the
general supervisor of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for Relief
of the Palestinian People in Gaza, medical supplies worth $3 million are being
provided to Palestinian hospitals. The aid is being provided in partnership with
the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). According to the president of the
Campaign, Dr. Saed Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, the aid is part of an integrated program
for the rehabilitation of the Palestinians’ health infrastructure. He noted that the
Saudi Committee for the Relief of the Palestinian People and the Campaign have
already provided medical assistance worth $53.34 million.