King Abdullah Chairs Cabinet Session
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today. At the outset, he briefed the Cabinet on his latest consultations with foreign leaders and their envoys, including a reception he held for U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and a message he received from Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa.
After listening to a report on the latest developments in a number of Arab countries, the Cabinet emphasized the importance of exerting concerted efforts to achieve security and stability in all Arab countries and to preserve the unity and well-being of their peoples. The Cabinet lauded the invitation extended at the 32nd extraordinary meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial Council for representatives of the Yemeni government and the Yemeni opposition to meet in the Kingdom. The Cabinet also welcomed the statements issued by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Muslim World League (MWL) condemning Iranian interference in the internal affairs of GCC member states, characterizing such interference as an attempt to spread regional discord.
After reviewing the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Cabinet strongly condemned Israel’s escalated aggression against the Palestinian people, particularly with regard to the air and ground bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which has led to scores of deaths and injuries. The ministers also condemned the Israeli decision to build hundreds of new housing units in Al-Quds [Jerusalem] and called upon the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and immediately intervene.
On the domestic front, the Cabinet discussed a number of cultural and tourist activities and functions that will take place in various regions of the Kingdom in the coming days. In particular, they anticipated the 26th Janadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture, which will open tomorrow under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and through the organization of the National Guard.
Addressing its weekly agenda items, the Cabinet authorized the Minister of Interior to sign a draft agreement on the transfer of convicted prisoners with Yemen; authorized the President of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) to sign a draft cooperation agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy with China; approved a memorandum of understanding in the field of Islamic affairs and endowments between the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance and the Sudanese Ministry of Guidance and Endowments; approved an agreement to avoid double taxation and income tax evasion, as well as the annexed draft protocol, with Tunisia; and approved the law of penalties on the dissemination and disclosure of classified documents and information.
The Cabinet approved the appointments of Salem Al-Faar as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mansur bin Abed Abdullah as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Salih Al-Hammad as Director General of the Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Economy and Planning (14th rank); and Fahd Al-Ruwais as Administrative Advisor at the Ministry of Culture and Information (14th rank).