Defense Minister Prince Salman arrived in Riyadh yesterday after the successful completion of an inspection tour to different sectors of the armed forces stationed in the Eastern Province.
In a statement issued to the Saudi Press Agency at the conclusion of the visit to the Eastern Province, Prince Salman commended the dedication and loyalty of all military forces to the king and the nation.
During his tour, the prince also conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, supreme commander of all armed forces, to the soldiers.
The prince said the Kingdom’s rulers are committed not only to building a superior military force but also providing and ensuring housing, health, education, community and other services to soldiers.
“The credit of the efficiency and battle readiness of the Kingdom’s armed forces goes to the late Crown Prince Sultan, who was keen to acquire the best combat systems,” Prince Salman said underscoring Prince Sultan’s role in building Saudi military forces in the most modern lines.
In his statement, the prince also lauded the king and Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, for their efforts to achieve great and systematic development in the Eastern Province and other areas.
He said the rapport between the leaders and the citizens has been the Kingdom’s distinguishing feature since the late King Abdul Aziz founded the Kingdom after unifying the hearts of the people and closing their ranks.
Prince Salman also underscored the pivotal roles played by Eastern Province Gov. Prince Muhammad bin Fahd and Deputy Gov. Prince Jelawi bin Abdul Aziz to achieve all round progress in the province.
On his arrival on Monday night, a huge reception was arranged in Prince Salman’s honor at the Eastern Province Governorate. It was attended by princes, tribal elders, government officials, businessmen, diplomats and journalists.
This is Prince Salman’s first visit to the region after taking over as the defense minister. While visiting the King Abdul Aziz Air Base in Dhahran on Tuesday, the prince said: “We take great pride in the excellent capabilities of the air base, including the highly skilled pilots who work for the protection and preservation of the country’s assets and our people.”
The air base is considered one of the best and the biggest in the Middle East.
On Tuesday morning, Prince Salman also visited Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University.
The prince visited the King Abdul Aziz Naval Base in Jubail on Wednesday.
All major streets and thoroughfares in Dammam and Alkhobar were decorated with huge billboards of the defense minister to mark his visit.
Local newspapers issued special supplements to commemorate the visit. “He is a trusted and able leader; he is a statesman,” said well-known journalist Mutlaq Al-Anazi, who described the prince as a charismatic leader.
“He has a special place in the hearts of the Saudi people,” Al-Anazi said, adding, that the prince’s visit would reassure our people that the leadership was in good hands. “We need him now more than ever. We love him and it is reflected in the warm welcome he is getting here in the region,” he said.