Saudi King supports Hosni Mubarak, Mahmoud Abbas makes a phone call

FILE : Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah speaks in his plane before his arrival in Casablanca January 22, 2011. King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia's elderly and ailing ruler, arrived in Morocco on Saturday to convalesce after spending almost two months in New York for medical treatment, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Picture taken January 22, 2011. (Photo : Getty Images )

RIYADH, Jan 30 (KATAKAMI.COM / GULF TODAY.AE) —  Saudi King Abdullah has expressed his support for President Hosni Mubarak and slammed those “tampering” with Egypt’s security and stability, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday.

The Saudi ruler, in Morocco recovering from back surgery performed in the United States, telephoned Mubarak early Saturday, the report said.

During the conversation, Abdullah condemned “intruders” he said were “tampering with Egypt’s security and stability …in the name of freedom of expression.”

Saudi Arabia, he added, “stands with all its means with the government and people of Egypt.” SPA said Mubarak had responded by assuring King Abdullah that “the situation is stable (in Egypt) … and what the world has seen is nothing more than an attempt by some … suspicious groups which do not want stability and security for Egyptians.”

Mubarak, known for his close ties with the Saudi king, had added, “Egypt and its people are determined to stop those trying to use the freedom given (to Egyptians) to achieve suspicious agendas,” SPA said.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia granted asylum to Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after he was toppled in what has been dubbed “The Jasmine Revolution.”

Saudi foreign ministry spokesman Osama Nogali said the decision to give shelter to Ben Ali was so as to try to “help defuse the crisis and prevent the bloodshed of the Tunisian people.”

Saudi Arabia has kept a total blackout on Ben Ali’s activities since he landed in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah early on January 15 with six members of his family.

The kingdom has sheltered other exiled leaders in the past, including former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

FILE : From right to left, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets with Palestinian authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. Talks come within the framework of efforts aimed at reviving the Middle East peace process. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Mubarak on Saturday and expressed his hopes that the country would safely weather its current unrest.

“President Mahmoud Abbas called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and affirmed his solidarity with Egypt and his commitment to its security and stability,” said a statement released by Abbas’s office.

It added: “He wished that God bless Egypt and its people who have always stood with the Palestinian people.”

Egypt, which shares a border with the Gaza Strip has historically played a leading role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and has also tried to broker reconciliation between Abbas’s Fatah movement and its bitter rival Hamas, which rules Gaza.

Meanwhile a senior Kuwaiti official said Kuwait is bringing citizens and residents home from Egypt on free flights.

Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Roudhan Al Roudhan said “Kuwaiti citizens and residents are being brought back home on free flights in light of the current security troubles in Egypt,” state news agency KUNA reported.  (*)

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