2006 News Story

Cabinet: Iraq, Strategic Dialogue, Palestinians

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today. The King opened the meeting by briefing the Cabinet on his recent contacts with international leaders and their envoys.

In a statement after the meeting, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that the Cabinet hoped the formation of a new Iraqi government would strengthen Iraq’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and help the country achieve stability.

The Cabinet welcomed the positive results of the Saudi-US Strategic Dialogue, which took place last week in Washington. The Dialogue embodies the development of relations between the two nations, it noted.

On the Palestinian issue, the Cabinet affirmed the Kingdom’s position on the necessity of providing aid to the Palestinians, and noted that the economic difficulties endured by the Palestinian people open the door to isolation and extremism. The Kingdom articulated this view at the recent meeting of the Quartet in New York.

With the 25th anniversary of the Gulf Cooperation Council taking place next week, King Abdullah commended the work of GCC leaders who have worked to achieve the organization’s objectives.

The Cabinet issued a number of decisions. It authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to negotiate a general agreement for cooperation with Croatia. It approved a protocol with China for cooperation in the petroleum, gas and mineral sectors.  The Minister of Finance or his deputy was authorized to sign a draft agreement for the establishment of an Islamic International Corporation for Financing Trade. The Cabinet also endorsed the final accounts of the General Establishment for Railways for FY 1425H [2004].

The Cabinet approved the establishment of the Saudi Arabian Railways Company (SAR) and its statutes. The company is licensed to establish and operate the North-South railway and its services and utilities. The company was also given permission to present all or part of its SR one billion [$266.7 million] capital for public subscription.

The Cabinet also approved a number of appointments, including: Dr Ahmed bin Hammad bin Awad Alhomood as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Alfayez as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr Hamad bin Aqla bin Ali Al-Aqla as Deputy Governor for Education and Training at the General Establishment for Technical Education and Vocational Training (GOTEVOT); and Hasan bin Hamid bin Mohammed Albakri as Director General of the Madinah branch of the Ministry of Hajj.