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 talks with visiting President Pervez Musharraf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which dealt with recent international developments as well as bilateral cooperation and ways enhancing Islamic solidarity. The Crown Prince also briefed the Cabinet on his talks with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, which covered not only bilateral relations but regional issues and in particular the war on terrorism, the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, and the situation in Iraq, and which he described as satisfactory and constructive.
The Cabinet then discussed the conference on the reconstruction of Iraq that was recently held in Brussels, Belgium, and reiterated the clear stance that the Kingdom has expressed in all such meetings since the onset of the Iraqi crisis, that their purpose should be to achieve for Iraq the independence, unity, security, stability and prosperity it needs in order to live in peace with its neighbors. Saudi Arabia has always urged commitment to the principle of non-intervention in Iraq's internal affairs and the need to maintain its territorial integrity.
Discussing the Asia-Middle East Dialogue (AMED) recently held in Singapore, the Cabinet renewed the Kingdom's affirmation in its speech at the conference that the world today is in urgent need of uniting international efforts to deepen dialogue, to raise the level of contacts and understanding among nations and civilizations, to strengthen the culture of peace and mutual respect, to enhance the principles of justice, tolerance and equality, and to renounce violence, injustice and racial discrimination.
The Cabinet then welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources that the national oil company Saudi Aramco has discovered important quantities of gas and condensates at a location about 60 miles west of the town of Dhahran.
Turning to its agenda, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including endorsement of a decision by the Consultative Council [Majlis Al-Shura] that Saudi Arabia accede to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants that was passed in May 2001; approval of a proposal submitted by the Minister of Agriculture that the Kingdom accede to the FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture according to the organization's statute; and ratification of the arrangement on customs cooperation with the Republic of Yemen.