2006 News Story

Cabinet: Hajj, terrorism, Arab League issues

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet session yesterday. He began the session by welcoming the pilgrims who have come to the holy sites to perform the Hajj. He emphasized the importance of providing all the services that the pilgrims require, and called on officials to double their efforts to serve the pilgrims because it would bestow a great honor on the Kingdom and its people.

In a statement following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that King Abdullah briefed the Cabinet on his talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which dealt with the latest developments in the region and the Palestinian situation.

The Cabinet expressed condolences to Yemen after a rock slide in the village of Al-Dhufairah killed a number of people.

The Cabinet also praised the decisions issued at the extraordinary session of the Arab League Council in Cairo last week, and welcomed foreign ministers’ agreement that voting on political or organizational matters should be by agreement of opinion, or by two-thirds majority. The Cabinet stressed the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting and developing actions in the Arab League as a result of the Pledge of Accord and Solidarity, which was submitted by King Abdullah and endorsed by the 16th Arab Summit in Tunisia in 2004. The Cabinet commended the Arab League Council for stressing the strategic importance of the brotherly Syrian-Lebanese relationship, and affirmed the Kingdom’s firm stance on the prosperity and stability of both countries.

Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet emphasized the Kingdom’s determination and firm position on eradicating the scourge of terrorism and its groups wherever they are. The Cabinet offered its condolences to the families of the slain security officers killed in Qassim Province December 27. It also stressed that the Kingdom has been working to eradicate the deviant group and everyone collaborating with or harboring terrorists, and praised the security forces and all military sectors for their strength, bravery and loyalty in fighting terrorism.

A number of decisions were also reached on local items. The President of Youth Welfare was authorized to negotiate a draft memorandum of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and India in the area of youth sports. The Minister of Finance was authorized to continue discussing draft agreements with Malaysia and India on tax issues. The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources was authorized to sign a protocol of cooperation with China, and the Minister of Health was authorized to discuss an agreement with China.

 Several promotions were also approved, including the appointment of Dr Mohammed bin Hamad bin Humain Alfahd as Legal Expert at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; Abdullah bin Salih bin Abdullah Alhammad as Consultant for Security Affairs at the Ministry of Interior; and Ibrahim bin Ali bin Mohammed Al-Saeed as Religious Researcher at the General Presidency of Religious Research.