Work on security wall along Iraq border to begin soon


“The contract for building the fence will be awarded soon, God willing,” the minister told reporters after meeting with the president of King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh.

In a previous statement, Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said tenders had been invited for building the barrier along the entire length of its 900-km desert border with Iraq.

The barrier is part of a package to secure the Kingdom’s 6,500 km of borders in an attempt to improve internal security and bolster its defenses against external threats.

Saudi Arabia is worried that the chaos in Iraq could cause an overspill of sectarian violence and terrorism. The Kingdom was successful in defeating Al-Qaeda militants in the country but wants to protect itself against insurgents from Iraq.

“The project will be carried out following the most modern international specifications,” Gen. Turki told Al-Riyadh Arabic daily.

The spokesman said the project would be totally or partially complete by the end of the next year. “The protection line will represent two rows of barbed wire equipped with the newest radar and infrared viewing devices,” he explained.

Five companies have been invited to offer bids. Among the companies are Saudi Binladin Group, Saudi Oger, Al-Saif Engineering and Construction Co. They have been given until Oct. 28 to submit their quotations.

Prince Naif said there was nothing new to announce about the deviant group. He was referring to Al-Qaeda militants blamed for a series of bombings and terrorist operations across the country since May 2003.

Prince Naif received Dr. Abdullah Al-Othman, president of KSU, and some of its deans and professors at his office yesterday to mark the signing of an agreement for establishing a chair at the university to conduct scientific research on intellectual security.

Prince Naif commended the university for promoting scientific research to meet the needs of society. Last April, the university announced plans to launch a major research and development program with the support of businessmen.

The agreement for setting up the chair, which is named after Prince Naif, was signed by Dr. Saaed Al-Harithy, adviser to the prince. The chair will begin its research work during this academic year (2007-8).

In a statement on the occasion, Al-Othman said his university would recruit highly qualified researchers from within the Kingdom and abroad in order to make use of their knowledge and expertise.


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