Galal Fakkar, Arab News
Published — Friday 18 May 2007
Last Update 18 May 2007 3:00 am
JEDDAH, 18 May 2007 — Prince Khaled Al-Faisal took the oath of office as the new governor of Makkah in the presence of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah at the royal court in Riyadh yesterday. Prince Faisal ibn Khaled ibn Abdul Aziz was also sworn in as governor of Asir. Crown Prince Sultan and Interior Minister Prince Naif attended the swearing-in ceremony.
“I swear in the name of Allah that I will be loyal to my religion and then to my king and to my country, not to disclose any state secret, preserve its interests and adhere to its regulations,” Prince Khaled pronounced in the royal presence, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Ali ibn Hassan Nakor, head of the Land Transportation Commission at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Jeddah is part of the Makkah governorate that the prince will govern), said he and his colleagues are very optimistic on the appointment of the former Asir governor to his new post governing the province that is home to Islam’s holiest site. “It is well known that Prince Khaled Al-Faisal is someone who is concerned about citizens and is always keen on starting development projects that improve people’s standard of living.”
Muhammad Aboudi, a prominent Saudi businessman and well-known poet, said that Prince Khaled is known for his support of various activities not just in the southern Asir province but also at the pan-Arab level.”
Nakor said that Prince Khaled’s poetic personality (the governor is an accomplished poet) has helped in allowing him to gain proximity to people’s problems. “The prince has come forward with a lot of constructive ideas in Asir,” he said. “These have contributed a lot to Asir’s development, especially in the economic field. It has become a well-developed province.”
Khalil Bahader, a businessman and major investor in tourism, said he expects new development projects in Makkah, especially since the prince was born and raised there. The prince was educated at Princeton and Oxford. “I expect a noticeable development in the tourism sector in Makkah,” Bahader said.
Abdullah Mari ibn Mahfouz, member of the JCCI board of directors and head of the JCCI’s Exhibition Commission, said that Prince Khaled’s appointment would herald a new era in the holding of exhibitions in the Makkah region. “I hope Prince Khaled will establish an international exhibition in Makkah for Islamic products during the Haj season,” he said. “All Islamic countries could participate in it.”
Prince Khaled succeeds Prince Abdul Majeed who passed away in a hospital in the United States on May 4.
As the deputy governor of Asir, Prince Faisal has been assisting Prince Khaled in looking after the affairs of the people since 2003.
King Arrives in Morocco
King Abdullah later arrived in Fez on an official Trip to Morocco. Abdullah, who is making his first visit to that country after his accession to the throne, will discuss matters of common interest and ways of strengthening bilateral relations.
A high-powered delegation accompanying the king includes Foreign Minster Prince Saud Al-Faisal, intelligence chief Prince Muqrin, Labor Minister Ghazi Al-Gosaibi and Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.
Before his departure, the king issued a decree entrusting Crown Prince Sultan with the administration of the government of the Kingdom during his absence, according to a royal court statement.