Riyadh: The people of Saudi Arabia are in a jubilant mood to accord a warm welcome to their Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, who is returning home on Friday after more than one year.
The crown prince had undergone a successful surgery in a New York hospital in February and then went to Morocco for recuperation. Earlier, he went to the United States for medical tests in November 2008, and then returned to Morocco for a prescribed convalescence. "Prince Sultan will return to Saudi Arabia at 9pm on Friday from the Moroccan city of Agadir," the Royal Court said in a statement.
The Royal Court announced that the Crown Prince has completed successful treatment. "Crown Prince Sultan has completed the journey of treatment after Allah Almighty bestowed health upon him and he is now enjoying full health," the statement added.
The capital city of Riyadh has completed all the preparations to receive Prince Sultan. Mohammad Al Aql, director general for development of investments at Riyadh Municipality, told Gulf News that main streets of the capital city have been decorated with more than 2,500 boards and banners welcoming the leader. "All the roads, flyovers and tunnels in the city were illuminated," he said.
Saudi citizens from all walks of life in Riyadh and other parts of the Kingdom have expressed their happiness over the expected return of Prince Sultan after recovery of his illness. Hundreds of vehicles could be seen carrying posters of the crown prince. Saudi citizens, including Majed Al Amoudi, have started decorating their cars with posters carrying pictures of Prince Sultan since the announcement made by his son Prince Khalid Bin Sultan last week about the return of crown prince.
Meanwhile, both the Saudi print and electronic media have been competing each other in carrying stories and pictures of Prince Sultan ever since the announcement about his returning home last week. Several Saudi internet sites carry messages and pictures of Prince Sultan. Almost all the daily newspapers in the Kingdom are publishing stories focusing mainly on his humanitarian qualities and leadership capabilities. A number of businessmen also join in celebration with giving advertisements in both the print and electronic media.
The media in other GCC states also followed suit. They highlighted Prince Sultan’s efforts for boosting the Kingdom’s overall development as well as his humanitarian services. A Kuwait website said in its report said that Saudi Arabia is likely to witness launching of a number of humanitarian projects as a goodwill gesture to their crown prince over the coming days.
It is noteworthy that Riyadh Governor Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, a brother of Prince Sultan, accompanied the crown prince and is staying with him.
Crown Prince Sultan was born in Riyadh in 1924. He has been serving the Kingdom in various capacities since several decades. He received a traditional education in his father's court and made his first major appearance on the public stage in 1947 when he was appointed governor of Riyadh. In 1953 he became minister of agriculture, and two years later he was handed the communications portfolio.
Crown Prince Sultan has held his current post in the Ministry of Defence and Aviation since 1963. He has overseen the development and modernisation of the country's armed forces as the minister of defence.
Prince Sultan has been named the crown prince on August 1, 2005 after Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz ascended to throne following the death of King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz.