2005 News Story

Cabinet: Iraq, Middle East, Terrorism

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly session of the Council of Ministers in Jeddah today. The King noted the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, and called on Arab and Islamic nations to work hard for the benefit of the Islamic world. He also briefed the Cabinet on recent meetings and communications with representatives of a number of countries on international issues.

The Cabinet then commended the first meeting of the Arab League-affiliated Ministerial Committee on Iraq, which was held in Jeddah, and praised its efforts to formulate a strategy for dealing with Iraq. The Cabinet noted Saudi Arabia’s concern for Iraq’s sovereignty, security and stability, and in particular stressed the importance of national reconciliation and unity. It further noted that sectarianism will lead to more divisions and more suffering, and that unity can only be achieved by giving priority to national interests over sectarian ones.

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Cabinet urged Palestinians to realize that their future depends on their ability to remain unified.

On terrorism, the Cabinet condemned the bombings that took place in Bali, Indonesia, on Saturday, and reiterated that confronting terrorism requires decisive international cooperation.

The Cabinet also approved the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) counterterrorism agreement signed in Kuwait on May 4, 2004, which encourages GCC countries to integrate counterterrorism measures. As part of the agreement, GCC countries would cooperate in providing the required security support for member nations subjected to terrorism. It also includes measures to prevent the use of member nations’ territory as a stage for planning, organizing or executing terrorist acts, as well as improving cooperation to prevent the infiltration of security measures.

Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet approved a number of items, including recommendations for implementing the Rotterdam Agreement on dangerous chemical materials and pesticides in international commerce; permission for GCC citizens to engage in certain commercial and cultural activities; and specifications for sanitation tools and plumbing materials.