Oct 30 2011

Saudis swear allegiance to Crown Prince

RIYADH/JEDDAH -- Senior Princes and ministers, the Grand Mufti, Ulema, officials and thousands of Saudi citizens flocked to Al-Hukum Palace in Riyadh Saturday to swear allegiance to Crown Prince Naif Bin Abdul Aziz.

Prince Naif, who served as Interior Minister for nearly four decades and led a crackdown on Al-Qaeda in the Kingdom, was named in a Royal Decree on Thursday to succeed Prince Sultan who died last week and was buried in Riyadh.

In his first statement after his promotion, Crown Prince Naif thanked the Monarch for his "trust," saying in remarks aired Saturday on state television that he "appreciates the responsibility" of the new post.

Prince Naif also praised King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for his leadership during a troubled time in the Arab World. "He has succeeded in making the Kingdom peaceful and stable... thanks to his wise leadership. Otherwise, we would have been hit like others. But thanks to Allah, we have a good and capable King, and a decent people," he added.

Saudi nationals across the country have also been called upon to swear allegiance to their new Crown Prince in front of provincial Emirs, on Sunday.

Under Prince Naif's leadership, the Interior Ministry faced the rise of Al-Qaeda in the Kingdom with a bloody wave of attacks between 2003 and 2006.

He cracked down on the network, forcing its leaders and its members to flee the Kingdom. He also dismantled charitable organizations that collected donations for the network.

Earlier, senior Princes, Emirs of different provinces, and the Grand Mufti praised the selection of Crown Prince. They all said Prince Naif is known for his strong determination, loyalty and political acumen as well as his ability to deal with complex issues.

Prince Turki Bin Abdul Aziz said King Abdullah's decision was based on the latter's wisdom, sound management and long history in serving the country, "It was the right decision," Prince Turki told Okaz/Saudi Gazette in Jeddah.

Prince Naif has proved to be highly efficient throughout the period of his service, he said. In his Friday sermon in Riyadh, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh lauded King Abdullah's decision to appoint Prince Naif as the Crown Prince.

"Prince Naif is known for his strong determination and loyalty and for taking wise decisions while dealing with insurmountable difficulties," he said.

"The decision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to appoint Prince Naif as the Crown Prince is right. I hope Allah the Almighty helps Prince Naif accomplish the mission of his post," Aal Al-Sheikh said. The Grand Mufti told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that Crown Prince Naif is one of those who revives and serves the Sunnah and Islam, and who exerts painstaking efforts for this purpose.

Prince Fahd Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Emir of Tabuk, said security personnel under the command of Prince Naif have successfully combated terrorism and protected the country.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of King Faisal Center for Islamic Research and Studies, described the selection of Prince Naif as Crown Prince as the right choice. Prince Turki was delivering a speech at a meeting of the National Congress for Arab-US Relations, currently in progress in Washington.

© The Saudi Gazette 2011

© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.

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