Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and expressed his appreciation for condolences received on the death of King Fahd.
[See list of foreign dignitaries who came to Riyadh to offer condolences]
The Cabinet then discussed Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip; hoped that it will be a step towards withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian lands so that the Palestinian people can build their state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital; and reiterated Saudi Arabia’s adherence to the peace initiative, proposed by King Abdullah at the 2002 Arab Summit in Beirut, that has been adopted as the Arab peace initiative for the region. This initiative, based on international legal agreements, is the real framework for achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The Cabinet warned about threats from radical groups to storm and attack Al-Aqsa Mosque, stating that such threats are highly provocative for Muslims since they threaten their holy places.
Turning to Iraq, the Cabinet reiterated hope for the unity of the Iraqi people in order to achieve their goals of security, stability and prosperity leading to integrity of their national territory, emphasis on their Arab and Islamic identity, and their restoration as an influential member of both the Muslim and the international communities.
The Cabinet condemned Friday’s criminal assassination of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, and reiterated its repudiation of all forms of terrorism, pointing out that terrorism has neither religion nor homeland.
Turning to its agenda, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to discuss a draft cooperation agreement with the Government of the Russian Federation for extradition of convicts and defendants; and authorization for the Minister of Justice or his deputy to discuss a draft agreement on judicial cooperation with the Kingdom of Morocco.