King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session

May 24, 2010

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah today. At the outset, he briefed the Cabinet on his consultations last week with foreign leaders, including meetings with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri and Bahraini Parliamentary Speaker Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Zahrani; telephone calls with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa; and messages from Moroccan King Mohammed VI and Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

Reviewing regional and international developments, the Cabinet commended the recommendations issued yesterday at the conclusion of the 115th Session of the GCC Foreign Ministers Meeting in Jeddah. In addition, the Cabinet welcomed the Dushanbe Declaration, issued at last week’s 37th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which condemned both terrorism and Islamophobia.

On the domestic front, the Cabinet praised King Abdullah’s directives granting full scholarships to students currently studying at their own expense in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand and increasing the resources of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) to SR 30 billion [$8 billion]. The ministers also welcomed the monarch’s patronage of the First International Conference for Urban Heritage and the Innovation Exhibition 2010.

Turning to its agenda items, the Cabinet approved regulations regarding the control and destruction of drugs and psychotropic substances; authorized the Foreign Minister to sign a protocol establishing diplomatic relations with Montenegro; authorized the General President of Youth Welfare to sign two draft cooperation agreements with Brazil and Uzbekistan in the field of sports; mandated the creation of 12,600 administrative jobs for the Ministry of Education (Girl’s Education); and approved an agreement with Belarus for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion.