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 Council on his recent tour of the Eastern Province and his meetings with citizens.
Crown Prince Abdullah briefed members of the Cabinet of meeting and discussions he had with world leaders on a variety of issues, including the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iraq and the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean region. The Cabinet offered its condolences to the families of the victims and appealed to the international community for speedy assistance to the affected areas.
Council of Ministers condemned the criminal acts perpetrated by the evildoers of the deviant group whose objective is to destabilize the Kingdom, undermine its institutions, and terrorize its people. The Cabinet praised the valor of the security forces in confronting the terrorists and swiftly eliminating those who were behind the recent attacks in Riyadh.
The Cabinet stated that the issue with Bahrain over the U.S.-Bahrain free trade agreement does not reflect a dispute or difference with Bahrain, but reflects the Kingdom’s keenness to see Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) resolutions honored. Saudi Arabia’s differences, the Cabinet stated, “is not considered by Saudi Arabia as amounting to a bilateral or even collective dispute, but rather reflects the Kingdom’s keenness on (maintaining) the credibility and seriousness of the Gulf Cooperation Council resolutions, especially in regard to the GCC economic unity.”
Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions pertaining to national cross-border bus service and measures aimed at improving bus service and border crossings. Within six months, transport companies are required to employ only drivers that they sponsor. The Ministry of Transportation was instructed to open more service facilities at the Kingdom's land border posts to meet the growing demand for cross-border bus services.