Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh yesterday.
The Cabinet opened the meeting by welcoming King Abdullah’s invitation to hold a meeting for Palestinian leaders in Makkah. The invitation represents a valuable opportunity to halt the Palestinian infighting, to stop the bloodshed and to avoid a disintegration of the Palestinian issue, the Cabinet said.
The Cabinet praised the recent donors’ conference in Paris to provide support for Lebanon. King Abdullah called on all Lebanese parties to work towards unity, exercise self-restraint and use dialogue to resolve their differences.
King Abdullah also briefed the Cabinet on his contacts and consultations with world leaders and their envoys. Most discussions focused on the escalating tension in the region and the consequences, he said. In particular King Abdullah noted his meeting with Kuwait’s Crown Prince.
During the meeting, the Cabinet issued a number of decisions. The Minister of Higher Education was authorized to negotiate a draft Memorandum of Understanding with the Netherlands on educational and scientific cooperation. The Cabinet also approved a technical cooperation agreement between the Saudi Geological Survey Commission and the Arab Organization for Industrial Development and Mining.
On domestic issues, it endorsed the final accounts for the Supreme Commission for Tourism for FY 2006, and approved the establishment of a unit at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to follow up on the implementation of approved building codes. The Cabinet also issued a decision on floating stocks for public subscription by companies licensed to establish communications networks and services. It also reduced the 15% fee levied by the government for commercial communications services for land-based telephones.
The Cabinet also stipulated that authorities allocating land within the Eastern Province must check with the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to ensure that the land in question is not part of an oil or gas concession, or within an area reserved for mining.
The Cabinet approved a number of appointments, including Abdulaziz bin Abdulkareem bin Abdulrahman Al-Fadda as Director General of the Office of the Deputy Commander of the National Guard; Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Shidookhi as Administrative Consultant at the National Guard; Salih bin Rashed Bin Saud Al-Khudair as Administrative Consultant at the Eastern Province Governorate; and Mohammed bin Suleiman bin Mohammed Al-Mansour as Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for School Affairs.