2004 News Story

Cabinet discusses Hajj, dialogue, diplomatic immunity and Civil Defense Council

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers, which was briefed on preparations for the upcoming 1424 Hajj pilgrimage that have been made by various government bodies to implement the general plan to provide comfort, ease and safety for pilgrims as is customary every year. The Crown Prince welcomed the pilgrims who have started arriving in the Kingdom from overseas for the purpose of performing the fifth pillar of Islam. Stressing how important it is for the various governmental bodies concerned with Hajj affairs to redouble their efforts and sincerely do their best to serve the pilgrims, the Crown Prince issued directives to mobilize all human and material potentialities to provide all the pilgrims’ needs during the performance of their rituals. He advised all pilgrims to be sincere in performing these rituals and to avoid anything that might disturb the tranquility of their Hajj or affect their brother pilgrims.

The Crown Prince then commented on the important achievements of the Second National Forum of Intellectual Dialogue that was recently organized in Makkah by the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue. This effective dialogue, he said, is based on objectivity, commitment and respect for the opinions of others, and reiterated what he had said on Saturday when he received those who had participated in it, namely that dialogue should be based on the fundamentals of religion, homeland, patience and action. Briefing the cabinet on the talks held by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz and himself with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie, the Crown Prince said these dealt with the latest international developments, notably the issue of Palestine and the killing and destruction carried out against the Palestinian people by the Israeli authorities. The cabinet stressed the need for the international community to work for a halt to Israel’s continued aggressions and to seriously pursue the achievement of a just peace based on United Nations resolutions.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of the Kingdom’s accession to the agreement concerning crimes involving those who enjoy international immunity, such as diplomats, with reservations concerning the first paragraph of Article (13); and approval of the reformulation of the Civil Defense Council with the Minister of Interior as chairman and the Deputy Minister of Interior as deputy chairman, and as members, the Chairman of the Meteorology and Environment Protection Agency (MEPA), the Assistant Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Military Affairs, the Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), the Chief of General Staff, the Director of Public Security, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, and the Director General of Civil Defense; and the Ministers of Water and Electricity, Commerce and Industry, Finance, Economy and Planning, Agriculture, Transport, and Health.