Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today.
The King briefed the Cabinet on his contacts and consultations with world leaders and their envoys, in particular visits to the Kingdom by US President George W. Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.
The Cabinet highlighted the deep friendship between Saudi Arabia and the United States, and expressed confidence in President Bush’s commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Regarding the Palestinians, the Cabinet stated that Saudi Arabia has decided to increase its humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people. It expressed concern at Israel’s violations and practice of collective punishment in the West Bank and Gaza, and stressed that continued Israeli violations of international law render peace initiatives empty. In addition, the Kingdom calls on the Quartet, including its Middle East envoy Tony Blair, to act quickly to preserve the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet approved the organization of the Consumer Protection Association, which is intended to safeguard consumer rights.
It also approved the establishment of a Railway Authority. The new authority will organize railway transport and safety, issue licenses to railway service providers, monitor unfair competition, and investigate railway accidents and losses. The Railway Authority will be an independent body in terms of finance and administration, and its governor will be appointed by royal decree. The Cabinet stipulated that the Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) would continue to function until the Authority’s rules and regulations are in place.
In addition, the Cabinet established a new national water company and approved a number of government appointments.