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 expressed the Kingdom's appreciation to all participants for the success of the Counter-Terrorism International Conference that recently concluded in Riyadh. A total of 52 countries and 11 international, regional and Arab organizations participated in the conference, whose final communiqué is to be known as the ‘Riyadh Declaration’. The Crown Prince praised the spirit of understanding and cooperation that prevailed during the four-day event, especially how visions and positions came together in addressing the phenomenon of terrorism and recognizing the need to confront its menace through united, organized and lasting international efforts under the auspices of the United Nations.
In particular, the Cabinet took note of the support for and adoption of the proposal made by Crown Prince Abdullah at the conference’s opening session, for the establishment of an international counter-terrorism center: the decision was made to set up a task force to crystallize this proposal, which calls for effective international effort, cooperation, and a comprehensive strategic stance in dealing with terrorism. The Cabinet stressed the importance of implementing the Conference's recommendations so that the international community can contain terrorism, eradicate its causes, and eliminate its resources, presenting a united front to face this phenomenon, which is allied to no particular religion, country or region, and which threatens peoples' lives in their own homes, as well as their relations, and their future.
Crown Prince Abdullah then welcomed as new ministers to the Cabinet Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh bin Obaid, Minister of Education, and Dr. Abdulmohsin bin Abdulaziz Al-Akkas, Minister of Social Affairs; expressed his thanks to outgoing ministers Dr. Muhammad bin Ahmed Al-Rasheed and Dr. Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Namla for their efforts during their terms of office in these respective ministries; and commended Dr. Fouad bin Abdulsalam Al-Farsi, now Minister of Pilgrimage, and Iyad bin Amin Madani, now Minister of Culture and Information, on the assumption of their new tasks, wishing them every success.
The Cabinet, after being briefed by the Crown Prince on his recent contacts with world leaders, including Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Shaath, turned to domestic affairs, and passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs or his deputy to discuss, draft and sign a memorandum of understanding with the Arab Republic of Syria for cooperation on real estate, comprehensive regional planning and geographical information systems; authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to discuss and sign a draft project on security cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; and authorization for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to sign a draft arrangement with the International Atomic Energy Agency for the enforcement of the guarantees stated in the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Arms Treaty in its 22 June 2000 version and the annexed small quantities protocol.
The Cabinet also reviewed recommendations by the ad hoc committee on unemployment among Saudi nationals and increased rates of foreign labor, and resolved that all concerned bodies such as the Kingdom’s universities and the press, should assist the Ministry of Labor in its efforts to reduce the number of visas issued for new employees from overseas, to train Saudi nationals, and to activate the role of the Saudi private sector. In particular, a pre-condition of Saudization is to be inserted into contracts for the implementation of government projects, that is, no company will be awarded a contract with a government organization unless it has fully complied with the Saudization requirements stipulated by the Ministry of Labor.