Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jeddah today. The King opened the session by briefing the Cabinet on his contacts and meetings with international leaders and envoys concerning bilateral and global issues, including the situations in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
In a statement, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that the Cabinet reaffirmed the Kingdom’s support for Lebanon and underscored the need to adhere to UN Security Council Resolution 1701. The Cabinet also stressed Saudi Arabia’s ongoing aid to Lebanon and its people through a reconstruction fund as well as through joint Arab efforts to help Lebanon rebuild as discussed at yesterday’s meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo.
The Cabinet emphasized that the security and stability of the region depend on a just, comprehensive and speedy solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and to the plight of the Palestinians. It stressed that the assassinations, arrest and kidnappings perpetrated by Israel in the Palestinian territories will not bring it peace or security.
The international community in general, and the United States in particular, must act to stop these Israeli policies and push the peace process forward in line with UN resolutions and international conventions.
Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz then briefed the Cabinet on the Kingdom’s efforts to strengthen and modernize its armed forces, including the purchase of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft from Britain. Part of the Typhoons will be built and assembled in Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Sultan said.
The Cabinet praised the Saudi security forces and all sections of the armed forces for their efforts to discover terrorist acts and preemptively foil them. The Cabinet noted King Abdullah’s frequent assertion that the Kingdom is determined to root out terrorism on its soil and promote greater international counterterrorism cooperation.
The Cabinet authorized agreements including a Memorandum of Understanding on scientific and educational cooperation with Tunisia, an income tax agreement with Pakistan. It also ordered the establishment of the King Fahd Medical City Fund to finance the city’s scientific and academic activities.
The Cabinet also approved several appointments, including Prince Bandar Bin Mashari Bin Saud Bin Farhan as administrative consultant at the Ministry Of Defense and Aviation; and Abdullah Bin Hamad Bin Nasser Alsabhan as Director General for Follow-Up at the Ministry of Education.