Crown Prince chairs Cabinet session

January 17, 2011

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz began the Cabinet meeting in Riyadh today with a briefing on the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s recent contacts with foreign leaders. These included meetings in New York with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, phone calls from U.S. President Barack Obama; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Spanish King Juan Carlos; Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa; Turkish President Abdullah Gul; Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan; Kuwaiti Emir Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, and a message from Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir.

Next, the Cabinet discussed developments in the Arab world, particularly recent events in Tunisia, Lebanon, the Sudan and the Palestinian territories. The ministers wished for the spread of security and stability in Tunisia, called on Lebanese politicians to work together to preserve their country’s unity and stability, and expressed hope that the final results of the referendum in Sudan will lead to the achievement of security and prosperity in that country. In addition, they called upon the international community to put an end to Israel’s illegal actions in the Occupied Territories and praised the growing international support for recognizing an independent Palestinian state.

On the domestic front, the Cabinet hailed the laying of the foundation stone for the expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. It also noted that the Kingdom was ranked first in the world in terms of the speedy registration of real estate property, according to the Business Environment Report 2009, issued by the World Bank. Furthermore, the Cabinet praised the Kingdom for being among the top 10 countries able to meet their financial obligations and sovereign debt, according to a CMA Datavision report for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Turning to its weekly agenda, the Cabinet clarified the meaning of the phrase “Medical Disability” mentioned in paragraph (A) of Article (122) of the Officers Service Regulation; approved both an extradition agreement and a prisoner transfer agreement with India; approved a number of procedures pertaining to the extension of the Board of Directors of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) as well as the appointment of government representatives from relevant agencies by the Board of Directors of the Public Investment Fund; approved a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the industrial field with Qatar; and assigned the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance and the Ministry of Higher Education to hold the membership of the National Tobacco Control Committee.