2004 News Story

Prince Sultan’s press conference after announcing King Faisal prize

Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz announced in Abha today the winner of the category of Service to Islam in the 1424 King Faisal International Prize. He is General (Retired) Abdulrahman Swar El-Dahab, Chairman of the Council of Trustees of the Islamic Call Organization in the Republic of Sudan and a former president of that country. The 69-year-old Sudanese winner is a renowned Islamic personality with a rich personal history in the service of Islam. He currently holds membership in eleven international Islamic organizations and has presented a number of research papers on Islam, the call to Islam, and the challenges facing the religion.

At the press conference, Prince Sultan denied international media reports of border problems between Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Yemen. To a question on the recently announced training qualification program for secondary school graduates, he confirmed that the numbers are restricted, with 5,000 applicants accepted this year by the Ministry of Defense, 3,000 by the National Guard, and 2,000 by the Ministry of Interior. The three-year program will train a total of 30,000 students, who after their one-year training, can either remain where they are or transfer to the private sector or to institutes. On privatization, Prince Sultan remarked this has been successfully achieved in communications and will soon be under way for the airline industry. The Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura) is studying other areas for privatization, which requires, he said, “a schedule and a convincing system”.