King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session (1/16/12)

January 16, 2012

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz began the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh today with a briefing on his latest contacts with foreign leaders, including meetings with Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salim BaSindwah; British Prime Minister David Cameron; and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and messages exchanged with Spanish King Juan Carlos and U.S. President Barack Obama.

After reviewing a number of reports on regional events, the Cabinet condemned the continuation of racist Israeli practices against the Palestinian people. It specifically decried the construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, as well as the attacks that have taken place against mosques.

Next, the Cabinet expressed appreciation for the United Nations, which recently thanked the Kingdom for its partnership with the World Food Program (WFP) and its leading role in aiding the hungry in disaster-hit areas around the world. A photo exhibition was organized by the U.N. in Geneva reflecting five decades of partnership between Saudi Arabia and the WFP.

Turning to domestic events, the Cabinet reviewed the scientific, economic, environmental and cultural activities held over the past week in several Saudi cities. The ministers also hailed the signing of a 3.815 billion [$1.017 billion] contract for the implementation of the second phase of the Haramain High-Speed Train, one of the most important transportation projects in the Kingdom.

Addressing its remaining agenda items, the Cabinet instructed that Paragraph 1 of its decision No. 6 of 19/11/1401 H., regarding the cash allowances provided to officers, be amended; approved the restructuring of the Military Service Council; directed that the “Ministry of Defense, Aviation and General Inspection” be renamed the “Ministry of Defense;” mandated that the Presidency of Meteorology and Protection of the Environment report to the Prime Minister; and approved several appointments to the Board of Directors of the Saudi Development Fund (SDF).

The Cabinet approved the appointment of Ahmad Al-Humaidi as Technical Affairs Advisor at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (15th rank); Abdulrahman Al-Mofadhi as Economic Advisor at the Ministry of Finance (15th rank); Hamad Al-Tuwaijri as Administrative Advisor at the Ministry of Labor (15th rank); Omar Al-Sibaiheen as Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Labor (15th rank); and Suleiman bin Duaij as Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (14th rank).