Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and briefed the cabinet on his recent contacts with leaders of friendly countries, which, he said, have focused on consultation and exchange of views on the ways to lift the siege imposed on the Palestinian people by Israel's occupation forces, and to mobilize the peace process to ensure the rights of the Palestinian people including that of having their independent state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital, the re-gaining of all their rights, and living in peace according to the relevant UN resolutions.
Discussing the progress of work in certain public departments and utilities directly involving service to the country, the Crown Prince called for the best to be provided to the citizens, promoting their interests and facilitating their dealings, and noted that responsibility towards the citizens is an obligation that should be sincerely carried out, and executed with justice. He urged respect for the public interest, promotion of the principle of equality and equal opportunities, non-breaching of the rights of other people and honoring all rights without delay. He also spoke of the progress of the State Budget and the extent of expenditure compliance of various public departments within the framework of the allocations, affirming the importance of not exceeding these allocations and honoring the principle of emergency and urgency.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to discuss a draft agreement with the Arab Republic of Egypt on cooperation in combating illegal trade in drugs and mind-altering substances; authorization for the Minister of Communications or his deputy to discuss a draft agreement with the Syrian Arab Republic on cooperation in maritime transportation; authorization for the leader of the Saudi delegation that is negotiating agreements to set up an Arab free trade zone, to implement the principle of reciprocity in the event that another party violates any of the articles of the agreement; and authorization for the Minister of Higher Education or his deputy to discuss the drafting of a memorandum on cultural and scientific cooperation with the higher education ministry in the Republic of Uzbekistan.