Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz was today congratulated by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on the twentieth anniversary of his accession to the throne of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.[See King Fahd's bio]
"When I recall the years," declared the Crown Prince, "the great events and effective stance of your reign flood my memory, each trying to come out as the greatest: but they are all noble, and I see you as father, brother, friend and leader.'' He then remarked: "The founder of this country and the source of its unity, our father, King Abdulaziz, mercy be upon him: remains the great symbol of the faithful unifier. He was characterized by good manners, pride and magnanimity, topped by loyalty to God Almighty, privately as well as in public.''
Crown Prince Abdullah went on to say: ''We congratulate ourselves that we have noble and kind people, and our people are congratulated on having a King for whom they have great love and who resides in their hearts. These twenty years are few in the passage of time but great in the memory of history''. Concluding his message, he added: ''I shall remain, God willing, your brother, friend and crown prince whom you will find obedient, with great sustainable love to you, and loyalty to God, our homeland and our people''.
Meanwhile, King Fahd has been praised by a number of world leaders for his role in enhancing security and peace, particularly in the Middle East region. In statements published today by Jeddah's 'Okaz' newspaper, they referred to King Fahd as a politically experienced and prominent leader who has dedicated himself to Islam and to peace. King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan remarked that Saudi Arabia holds an influential position in the world under his leadership, owing to his quiet diplomacy and policies in support of Arab causes. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat attested to the value of King Fahd's support for the cause of Al-Quds [Jerusalem]. President of Comoros Othman Ghazali commented on the unprecedented expansion of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah; President of South Africa Thabo Mbiki referred to him as one of the world's most prominent political decision-makers; and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez explained that his positive policies have saved the global oil market.
In Dammam, Governor of the Eastern Province Prince Muhammad bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz remarked that King Fahd is his father, but also the father of all citizens under his care. A report issued today by the General Presidency of Youth Welfare points out that King Fahd is also Chairman of the Sports Council, and has paid great attention to this, adding that Saudi Arabia has for the third time qualified for the World Cup in soccer. Moreover, King Fahd promotes culture and the arts, and in 2000, Riyadh was chosen as culture capital of the Arab World. In its regular session in Riyadh today, the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura) recalled King Fahd's role in setting up the modern system of shura, praised his care for the Two Holy Mosques, and paid tribute to his work in publishing and interpreting the Holy Qur'an.
In Cairo, the two largest Egyptian dailies, Al-Ala'am Al-Youm and Al-Ahram, today highlighted King Fahd's efforts to set up the Kingdom's political and economic institutions, heralding a new economic order and enabling Saudi Arabia to enter the 21st century with dignity and strength.