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, on the occasion of Saudi Arabia’s National Day this coming Thursday, congratulated all citizens, highlighted the efforts exerted to unify the Kingdom, and commented on the achievements made since that unification. The Crown Prince stressed the importance of unity among citizens, saying greater prosperity and stability for the homeland and its loyal people can only be realized by maintaining national unity, solidarity between the people and their leaders, and sincere efforts by security and military forces.
The Cabinet went on to discuss Iraq, regretting the grave situation there, and urging all concerned to work towards ending the tragic situation in which bombings and clashes lead to the daily killing of dozens of innocent people. On the Palestinian issue, the Cabinet also expressed regret, condemning Israel’s constant criminal and provocative acts and the use of its military machine against the Palestinian people.
The Cabinet then reiterated its call for citizens to demonstrate the utmost levels of cooperation with the government officers assigned to conducting the population and housing census, a nationwide campaign that started last Wednesday.
Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to sign a draft cooperation agreement with the Republic of Turkey for extradition of those convicted or indicted; endorsement of the World Health Organization's framework agreement on combating the use of tobacco; and endorsement of the international code on the security of ships and port utilities and the amendments to the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) that were issued at the conference held at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London from December 9 – 13, 2002, establishing a mechanism aimed at protecting countries with seaboards that are threatened by dangerous vessels on the seas.