2006 News Story

Cabinet: National Day, Palestinian unity, Iraq

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired today’s weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.

King Abdullah opened the meeting by noting that the Kingdom’s 76th National Day celebrations on September 23 exemplify the unity of the Saudi nation, its adherence to Islam, and the pursuit of justice and equality among citizens. The celebrations also highlight the Kingdom’s commitment to development as well as its contributions to Arab unity, the Islamic nation and global stability.

In a statement after the meeting, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that the King briefed the Cabinet on his recent meetings and consultations on international, regional and bilateral issues, in particular Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s visit to Saudi Arabia yesterday.

On international issues, the Cabinet emphasized the importance of Palestinian unity and the need for the political leaders in Palestine to recognize that their interests lie with agreement. The Cabinet urged the international community to promote Palestinian unity rather than obstruct it.

The Cabinet expressed the hope that the meeting of interior ministers of Iraq’s neighboring countries, which is currently underway in Jeddah, will achieve more cooperation and coordination that will help Iraq overcome its security problems and pave the way for a reduction in sectarian violence.

On domestic matters, the Cabinet praised the Saudi soccer team’s victory at the World Cup for the Disabled. The fact that King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz telephoned the athletes shows the Kingdom’s care for the disabled and the opportunities for them to participate in all aspects of society.

The Cabinet issued a number of decisions today. It approved items including the negotiation of a draft Memorandum of Understanding with Egypt and an agreement on taxation with Bangladesh. The Cabinet also extended its decision for Saudi Arabia to pay customs charges on the import of Palestinian goods and products for one year, and approved the establishment of a regional commission for animal health in the Near East and North Africa.

The Cabinet approved Saudi Arabia’s accession to the Islamic children’s rights charter, issued at the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s meeting of foreign ministers in Yemen in 2005. The charter aims to provide care for families and a free elementary and secondary education to all regardless of race, color, nationality, religion or birth.

Appointments were approved including  Abdulmohsen bin Hamad Alyahya as legal consultant at the Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, and Hamad bin Abdullah Almusa as administrative consultant at the Ministry of Defense and Aviation.