Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz chaired this week’s Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh. He opened the session by congratulating Arab and Muslim nations on the new Hijrah year on behalf of King Abdullah, who is on a four-nation official visit to India, and himself, and said he hoped nations of the world would work towards ensuring security and goodwill among peoples.
The Cabinet expressed its satisfaction with the results of King Abdullah’s visits to China and India, which highlighted those countries’ strong relations with the Kingdom and resulted in enhanced cooperation and partnership. The Cabinet wished that the King’s visit to Malaysia would be successful.
In a statement following the meeting, Minister of Social Affairs Abdulmohsen Al-Akkas said that Crown Prince Sultan welcomed the positive results of King Abdullah’s visits to China and India, which will enhance the Kingdom’s relations with those nations and affirm its commitment to the ideals of tolerance, understanding and diversity among societies, as well as supporting the expansion of trade and joint investment.
The Cabinet congratulated Kuwait’s new emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, and wished him every success in achieving the aspirations of the Kuwaiti people and working with the Gulf Cooperation Council. The Cabinet commended former Emir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah for his great achievements.
Turning to the Palestinian elections, the Cabinet congratulated President Mahmoud Abbas on the success of the Palestinian legislative elections, and called on the world community to respect the Palestinian people’s wish for self-determination and to exercise their freedom of choice. The Cabinet also said it looked forward to a favorable international response to the developments as well as to increased international pressure on Israel to work towards a just and comprehensive peace.
The Cabinet then reviewed the local items on its agenda and issued a number of decisions. The Minister of Social Affairs or his deputy was authorized to negotiate a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in social affairs with Yemen. A committee was formed from the Ministries of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Finance and Youth Welfare to supervise the investment of some lands owned by the state for the benefit of sports clubs. The Minister of Finance or his deputy was authorized to negotiate an agreement on income and capital taxation and the prevention of tax evasion with Italy. Saudi fishing boats on the high seas were exempted from port fees in the event they anchor at a Saudi commercial port.
The Cabinet approved several appointments, including Eng. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Oboodi as Director General of Water Department for Riyadh Region at the Ministry of Water and Electricity, and the appointment of Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al Miqren as Director General for Administrative and Financial Affairs at the same ministry.