2005 News Story

Cabinet: Saudi-U.S. relations; mideast, Iraq, Lebanon, Cairo; flooding

Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and commented that the recent visit by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to the United States of America demonstrates the desire of the two friendly countries to enhance their bilateral relations. He pointed out that the joint statement issued following the Crown Prince’s meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush reflected the strong friendship that began 60 years ago and which is based on respect, trust and mutual interests.

The Cabinet expressed its appreciation of the contents of that statement, which included the U.S. desire to continue working as a partner in the Kingdom’s efforts towards accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO); and which affirmed the commitment of both sides to eradicate terrorism and choke off its sources, urging the international community to participate in efforts to combat it. The joint Saudi-U.S. statement also looked to the negotiation of a just settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to set up two democratic states coexisting side by side in security and peace. The statement expressed commitment to assisting the Iraqi people to achieve their aspirations for a secure, independent and united country which enjoys peace with neighboring countries and in which all segments of people take part in its institutions.

The Cabinet welcomed the formation of the new Iraqi government, hoping that this step will contribute to achieving Iraq's security, stability, unity and territorial integrity; welcomed Syria's announcement of the completion of the withdrawal of its forces from Lebanese territories, a fact which stresses Syria's commitment to its obligations and implementation of UN resolution 1559; and condemned the recent acts of terrorism in Cairo that targeted innocent people and destroyed property.

The Cabinet was then briefed on the effects of the heavy rain and flooding in a number of places in the Kingdom. Prince Sultan directed the concerned ministers to take all necessary measures as promptly as possible in order to relieve the suffering of citizens and provide them with every assistance and support.

Turning to items on its agenda, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to sign a draft agreement with the Arab Establishment for Satellites that seeks to acquire a base in the Kingdom; and approval of the rules and regulations for private-sector-only bidding in connection with the seizure and towing of crippled and damaged vehicles.