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 briefed the Cabinet on his talks with a number of leaders and officials of brotherly and friendly countries, notably visiting President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. These talks focused on uniting international efforts to achieve security, stability and peace for all countries and their peoples, especially in Iraq and in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Condemning the recent brutal military operations carried out by Israel’s army of occupation in the Gaza Strip which resulted in the deaths of 15 people and the wounding of scores of others, the Cabinet stressed that Israel’s continued aggression against the Palestinians in a pattern of killing and destruction reflects its persistence in challenging the international community, obstructing the chance of achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the region, and consolidating its escalatory policies with the aim of imposing unilateral steps through the use of force.
On the situation in Iraq, the Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom's denunciation of the bloody events in Baghdad and Karbala that led to the killing of innocent Iraqis, expressing sincere condolences for the deceased and wishing the injured a quick recovery. The Cabinet went on to express satisfaction over the agreement on, and signing of, Iraq's interim constitution and hoped that this will lead to the establishment of an independent government and the restoration of Iraq’s sovereignty and independence.
The Cabinet was then briefed by the Foreign Minister on the 121st session of the ministerial council of the League of Arab States recently concluded in Cairo, and stressed the necessity of activating joint Arab action and pursuing the achievement of the League's full potential to confront the challenges faced by the Arab world.
Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of recommendations on restructuring the civil aviation sector, with the Presidency of Civil Aviation transformed into an autonomous public organization with financial and administrative independence, and operated according to commercial considerations. The new Board of Directors of the Civil Aviation Authority Commission (CAC) will be formed of the Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General as Chairman; the Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Civil Aviation Affairs as Deputy Chairman; and as members, representatives from the ministries of Transport, Finance, and Economy and Planning; plus at least three representatives from the private sector. The Cabinet also passed resolutions approving the recommendations submitted by the ad hoc committee set up to study the establishment of the most appropriate training institutions for public school graduates, in order to meet the requirements of the labor market; and to set up plans capable of qualifying enough Saudis in specializations needed by the country in the future.