Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and expressed his sincere congratulations and best wishes for the Kingdom and its citizens on the occasion of this year's National Day, the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Kingdom, which falls on Tuesday, September 23. This anniversary, he said, reminds us of the great achievements initiated by the Kingdom's founder King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Saud, as well as the historic announcement in 1932 of the country's unification under the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the culmination of a long process of struggle which started with the recapture of the city of Riyadh in 1902.
"On the occasion of National Day", Crown Prince Abdullah stated, "we should embark on a new stage to confront current difficulties. The challenges faced by King Abdulaziz compelled his nation to establish this solid entity. The best remembrance of the late King is for us to devote ourselves anew to strengthening this country and fortifying it to confront today's perilous challenges." The Crown Prince went on to stress the importance of utilizing this occasion to review all achievements and to pledge faithfulness to the country through good and constructive actions topped by national unity and cohesion between the people and leadership to achieve further welfare, prosperity, and stability in all parts of the Kingdom; and to continue efforts with brotherly and friendly countries to enhance security and peace throughout the world.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of a recommendation by the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura) for accession to the World Tourism Organization, whereby Saudi Arabia will fully abide by the organization's statutes where these do not contradict Shariah [Islamic law] and valid regulations of the Kingdom; authorization for the President of Youth Welfare or his deputy to sign the Copenhagen Declaration for combating sports-related drug practices; endorsement of the economic agreement among the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) signed during the meetings of the GCC summit in Muscat, Oman, on December 31, 2001; and amendment of the regulations governing length of service on boards of government bodies.