2007 News Story

King Abdullah chairs weekly Cabinet meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah today.

The King opened the meeting by briefing the Cabinet on his contacts and consultations with world leaders and their envoys. He praised his meeting with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and the strategic importance of relations between the two countries.

The Cabinet reviewed developments in the region, including Israeli policies that increase tension and obstruct peace efforts. Confronting these policies requires a unified Arab position, effective mechanisms for Arab action and a true understanding of Arab interests, the Cabinet said.

It also urged global powers to recognize that the countries of the region have cultural, social and national realities that cannot be ignored, or the rights of their people violated. Applying preexisting ideologies has failed in the past and will continue to fail in the future, it warned, adding that Israel’s future depends on recognizing the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people in their homeland.

A number of decisions were issued today, including approval for the Public Commission for Housing system. As part of the decision, housing strategy will be transferred from the Ministry of Economy and Planning to the new commission.

The Cabinet authorized the Foreign Minister or his deputy to discuss an amendment to a Memorandum of Understanding on organizing visit visas with the United States. The amendment involves extending the visas from two years to five and increasing the visa fees.

The Cabinet also approved a framework agreement on trade privileges among Organization of the Islamic Conference member states. The agreement seeks to promote trade among OIC member states.

In related news, the Shura (Consultative) Council today approved agreements on the avoidance of dual taxation with Italy, South Africa and Russia.