2005 News Story

Cabinet: GCC, energy, computerized ID cards

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers, which reviewed the latest international developments and recent contacts with officials of brotherly and friendly countries. The Cabinet expressed confidence that the upcoming consultative summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) due to be held in Riyadh will yield concrete results in uniting Gulf action and enhancing convergence of viewpoints on political and economic issues of concern to the region and the world.

Briefed on the annual Energy Summit recently held in Washington DC, the Cabinet reaffirmed the Kingdom's pledges and commitments to maintaining the stability of oil supplies and prices, and to increasing its oil production as required by the factors of supply and demand in the global oil market in the interest of producers and consumers alike. The Cabinet noted that international efforts should accompany the Kingdom's efforts to meet demands, confront the challenges of world energy, and achieve balance and stability in the world’s oil markets.

Turning to its agenda, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of a draft agreement on economic, investment and technical cooperation between member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, preparatory to negotiations for a free trade zone between the two parties; authorization for the Minister of Transport or his deputy to discuss a draft cooperation agreement with the Republic of Singapore in the field of maritime transportation; and ratification of the statute for the system of standards in member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), upon recommendation by the Minister of Commerce and Industry as chair of the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization.

The Cabinet also endorsed the Electronic National Identity Smart Card as one of the basic pillars for application of electronic government and its services in accordance with the stated measures and steps. The new laminated ID card has on one side an electronic photograph of the bearer, and on the other a computer chip storing information related to its holder and family members. This card is electronically readable, and eligible for use in courts of law as well as at banks and in hotels. At a later date, the holder’s fingerprints will be added in order to prevent forgery and misuse.