Cabinet condemns violence in Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen

May 12, 2008

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

King Abdullah opened the meeting by briefing the Cabinet on his meeting yesterday with Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair to discuss the situation in Palestine and international efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

On Lebanon, the Cabinet reiterated its call for Lebanese parties to put the national interest first and stressed that the recent escalation in violence will only benefit foreign extremist forces.

The Cabinet was also briefed on yesterday’s extraordinary Arab League meeting on Lebanon.  It welcomed the Arab League’s appeal for a cease-fire in Lebanon and expressed support for the ministerial committee that will be dispatched to Beirut.

Turning to Sudan, the Cabinet condemned the violence that erupted Saturday when rebels from Darfur launched an attack on Khartoum. It also expressed support for the Sudanese government’s efforts to achieve peace and security throughout the country.

The Cabinet called for an end to the violence in Saadah, Yemen, where clashes erupted recently between the Yemeni government and insurgents belonging to the Al-Hawthi clan. It welcomed Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s efforts to contain the violence and end the disorder peacefully.

On other international issues, the Cabinet affirmed the need for Djibouti and Eritrea to respect their common borders and urged the two countries to resolve their differences peacefully.

A number of items were approved today, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a strategic partnership between the Saudi Red Crescent Society and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); an MoU on scientific and technical cooperation between the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and the Polish Academy of Sciences; and protocols related to the Universal Postal Union.

Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet approved the establishment of a committee to monitor real estate firms. The committee will be headed by the Minister of Commerce and Industry and will include two representatives each from the Ministries of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Justice, and Finance as well as the secretaries-general of the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants and the Saudi Council of Engineers.