Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah yesterday. The King opened the meeting by briefing the Cabinet on his recent contacts and meetings.
In a statement, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that the Cabinet was briefed on the latest developments in the region. It stressed the urgent need for the current effort to advance the peace process in the Middle East. The Cabinet also called for effective steps to end the economic blockade imposed on the Palestinians, an end to the ongoing Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian territories and a concrete international effort to protect the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights to an independent state with Al-Quds as its capital.
The Cabinet urged Israel to abide by international resolutions and complete its withdrawal from all Lebanese territory so that Lebanon can achieve national unity and reconstruction.
Turning to Iraq, the Cabinet said that events in the country and their consequences will weaken Iraq’s entity, incite dissension and infringe on Islamic values and ideals in a way that is uglier than any defamation from abroad. Iraq’s citizens, leaders, intellectuals and scholars must confront these issues.
On domestic matters, King Abdullah directed that all government organizations, especially those dealing with services, redouble their efforts during the holy month of Ramadan, when tens of thousands of pilgrims travel to the Kingdom to perform the umrah. Services and facilities must be at their best, the King said. He also directed that the Eid Al-Fitr holiday would begin October 11 for government employees.
The Cabinet issued a number of decisions, including authorizing a draft agreement on investment with Bangladesh and several appointments.