Crown Prince chairs Cabinet session (11/21/11)

November 21, 2011

Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz began the weekly Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today by welcoming the body’s newest member, Minister of Defense Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, and wishing him every success. On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince expressed gratitude to God for the ease and comfort with which pilgrims were able to perform Hajj rituals this year. He thanked all the people and organizations that served during the Hajj season and stated, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will spare no effort in order to facilitate Hajj rituals for every Muslim.”

Turning to foreign affairs, the Cabinet discussed the latest developments at the Arab, regional, and international levels. It hailed the efforts exerted by the Arab League to address the situation in Syria, stressing the importance of providing protection for Syrian civilians and ending the deadly violence. The Cabinet called upon the Syrian government to fully implement the commitments agreed to under the Arab Action Plan.

Next, the Cabinet welcomed the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the resolution submitted by the Kingdom condemning terrorist attacks against diplomats, citing in particular the assassination plot against the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. The support expressed by so many nations for the resolution reflects the strong will to strengthen international cooperation to fight terrorism, it noted.

The Cabinet condemned the decision by the Israeli authorities to speed up construction of housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to the recognition of Palestine as a full member of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It stressed that such actions reveal Israel’s lack of seriousness regarding the peace process.

On the domestic front, the Cabinet reviewed a number of activities that took place in the Kingdom this week, including the 2011 Energy Dialogue Forum, which was organized by King Abdullah Center for Petroleum Studies and Research, and the celebrations surrounding Universal Children’s Day.

Addressing its remaining agenda items, the Cabinet ordered a number of measures be taken regarding the royal decree No. A/61, dated 13/4/1432 H., regarding the job-seekers bursary program; approved a proposal to add members to the Environment Administration Council; authorized the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the King Abdulaziz Foundation to sign a memorandum of cooperation with the International Institute for Muslim Unity in Malaysia; authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs to sign a draft agreement for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, livestock and fisheries with the Ukraine and any other countries with which the Foreign Ministry agrees to negotiate; approved the amendment of the 2nd and 15th articles of the commercial mortgage regulation; and approved the amendment of the royal decree M/14, dated 16/4/1421 H., concerning the arrangement of repayment of preferred debt in the case of bankruptcy.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Abdulrahman Al-Aidan as Planning Advisor at the Command of the General Staff (15th rank); Prince Fahad Al-Muqrin as Director General of Water in Makkah Province at the Ministry of Water and Electricity (15th rank); Jaber Al-Shehri as Undersecretary for Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture (15th rank); Abdullah Al-Dhuwaihi as Advisor to the Civil Service at the Ministry of Civil Service (15th rank); Ali Al-Salem as Management Advisor at the Ministry of Defense (14th rank); Mishary Al-Angari as Director General of Administration and Finance at the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs (14th rank); Saleh Al-Debasi as Assistant Undersecretary for Budget and Management Affairs at the Ministry of Finance (14th rank); and Mohammed Al-Khatib as Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Finance (14th rank).