King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session

August 9, 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 congratulated Muslims worldwide on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan and urged them to sense the greatness of the month; follow the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him); embody the spirit of love, brotherhood, cooperation, solidarity and self-accountability; and work for the good of Islam and Muslims. The King directed all ministers and officials in charge of the implementation of the Ramadan Plan for 1431 H. to exert their greatest efforts to provide the best services for Umrah performers and visitors of the holy places.

Turning to international affairs, King Abdullah briefed the Cabinet on the talks he held last week with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in addition to a message he received from Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. After listening to a report on regional developments, the Cabinet condemned Israel’s aggression against Lebanese territory last Tuesday, characterizing it as a violation of UN Resolution 1701 and detrimental to efforts to stabilize Lebanon. The ministers called upon the international community to play its role in preventing the recurrence of the Israeli violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty. The Cabinet also expressed condolences to the people of Pakistan and China for the victims of floods that swept the two countries, killing hundreds and displacing millions.

Addressing domestic affairs, the Cabinet welcomed the decision by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to add the Turaif Quarter in historic Dir’iya to the list of World Heritage Sites. Then the Cabinet reviewed the Ninth Development Plan covering the period 1431/1432–1435/1436 H. (2010–2014) and approved it. King Abdullah directed all state organs to work hard to implement the programs and projects within their set time limits. He noted that development spending has reached SR 1.444 trillion [$385 billion] , an increase of 67% over the Eighth Development Plan. The great part of the spending was allocated to human resource development, social development, health, municipal services, housing, culture, and transport and communications.

Continuing with its weekly agenda, the Cabinet approved the amendment to paragraph (2) of the Council of Ministers’ decision No. (21) dated on 24/01/1425 H. on the general agreement on cooperation in economic, trade and investment, scientific, artistic, cultural, youth and sports fields with Uruguay; approved the appointment of the Fayez bin Ali bin Mishbib bin Yusuf as member of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Red Crescent instead of Dr. Mowafaq bin A’ta Al-Bayouk; approved a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of social insurance between the Saudi General Organization for Social Insurance and the Yemeni General Organization for Social Insurance; and approved an agreement with Syria on the avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion on income and capital.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Mahmoud Al-Qattan as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Abdullah Al-Qahtani as Geological Expert at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (14th rank); and Majid Al-Majed as Deputy Director General of Water in Riyadh Province for Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Water and Electricity (14th rank).