Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh yesterday.
At the beginning of the meeting, King Abdullah briefed the Cabinet on his recent communications with a number of leaders and envoys on bilateral relations, regional and international issues. The King emphasized the importance of the visit by French President Jacques Chirac, who yesterday concluded a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, and the historic relations between the two nations.
In a statement following the meeting, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that Chirac’s welcome in Saudi Arabia underscores not only the growing strategic relations between the two nations, but also the Kingdom’s respect for Chirac personally and France’s moderate policy on regional and international issues.
Madani noted that Saudi Arabia and France share a unified position on freeing the Arab and Muslim world – as well as all states in the region – of weapons of mass destruction. The two countries expressed their wish to end the stalemate in Iraq and the importance of Lebanon’s stability and territorial integrity. They also emphasized the importance of commitment to all UN resolutions concerning the Palestinian situation and the Palestinians’ right to an independent state.
In addition, the Cabinet was briefed on the results of the 125th session of Arab Foreign Ministers held recently in Cairo, in which they discussed the agenda for the next Arab summit in Sudan. The Cabinet expressed its hope that the summit would be a significant step towards unifying Arab countries and enhancing their cooperation.
Turning to local items on its agenda, the Cabinet issued a number of decisions. It decided to implement recommendations for ways to guarantee price tags are displayed at shops in the Kingdom.
The Cabinet approved a draft agreement on cultural cooperation with Germany, as well as a draft agreement with Kazakhstan on judicial matters. The Cabinet also authorized the Minister of Transport or his deputy to negotiate a draft agreement of cooperation with Ukraine in the area of maritime transportation.
The Cabinet approved a number of appointments, including: Ahmed bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir Al-Saif as economic expert at the Ministry of Economy and Planning; Siraj bin Mohammed bin Yahya Masoodi as Deputy Director General of the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization; Dr. Abu Bakr bin Ahmed bin Abu Bakr Baqader as Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Information for International Cultural Relations; and Abdullah bin Ibrahim bin Saad Al-Ayadhi as economic consultant at the General Investment Fund.